62. Nordische Filmtage Lübeck prize winners – for the first time since 1990, the NDR Film Prize goes to a film from Latvia – Audience Prize once again goes to Finland

Lübeck, Nov. 7, 2020. At the award ceremony for this year’s online edition of the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, held at Theater Lübeck, ten prizes were handed out for the first time, with a total endowment of 57,500 euros. The ceremony was recorded in advance without a live audience. The actor Stephan Szász moderated the evening, with the winners appearing via video links. A show band provided musical accompaniment.

The NDR Film Prize, worth 12,500 euros, provided a premiere and a special surprise. For the first time ever, it went to a film from Latvia. Appearing by video link, director Dace Pūce expressed her pleasure that her feature debut “The Pit” (“Bedre”) won. Films from the Baltic states have been part of the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck Competition since 1990. The five-person NDR jury, which includes Bjarne Mädel (“Sörensen’s Fear”) and actor Jana Klinge (“North by Northwest”), also gave two films an honourable mention, the Norwegian films “Hope” and “Diana’s Wedding”. The Friends of the Nordic Film Days sponsors a prize of 7,500 euros for Best Feature Debut, which this year went to the Finnish film “Games People Play” (“Seurapeli”) by Jenni Toivoniemi. The director had two reasons to celebrate, with her film also winning the Baltic Film Prize for a Nordic film (worth 2,500 euros).

The Audience Prize, endowed by the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper with 5,000 euros, went to a film from Finland, “Forest Giant” (“Metsäjätti”), directed by Ville Jankeri, a clear favourite with audiences, who voted online. The INTERFILM Church Prize is endowed with 5,000 euros by the Lübeck Lauenburg Protestant-Lutheran church district. This year it went to “A Perfectly Normal Family” (“En helt almindelig Familie”), directed by Denmark’s Malou Reymann. It was also a feature debut, with star Mikkel Boe Følsgaard in the lead. 

“I’m very pleased about this round of prizes, which reflect the broad range of the films in competition. I’m also happy about the fact that so many of the prize winners came from female directors. Seven of the 16 Competition films were directed by women and I think the future belongs to them!”, said Linde Fröhlich, Artistic Director of the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck.

The venerable Documentary Film Prize awarded by the North DGB trade union district was awarded to a film that “showed young, politically active people taking the first steps to preserve tradition and foster Greenland’s independence”, as the jury said in its statement. They selected “The Fight for Greenland” (“Kampen om Grønland”) by Kenneth Sorento, a Danish-Greenlandic-Norwegian production. The prize is worth 5,000 euros.

Also endowed with 5,000 euros by the CineStar Group is the CineStar Prize, which is awarded to a short in the Filmforum section and this year went to director Steffen Goldkamp for his film “After Two Hours, Ten Minutes had Passed” (“Nach zwei Stunden waren zehn Minuten vergangen”).

The newest prize, awarded for the first time in 2020, is the Young Jury Prize sponsored by cbb software GmbH. It goes to a festival film that best deals with the reality of young adult life, awarded by a jury of four people between the ages of 15 and 17. They chose “Tiger” (“Tigrar”) directed by Sweden’s Ronnie Sandahl. The award is also endowed with 5,000 euros. The Interfilm jury gave the same film an honourable mention. The Children’s and Youth Film Prize endowed (with 5,000 euros) by the Gemeinnützige Sparkassenstiftung (regional savings bank foundation) of Lübeck, and awarded by a three-person jury, went to the Norwegian children’s film “Sisters” (“Tottori – Sommeren vi var alene”). The festival’s Children’s jury gave the same film an honourable mention. That award is worth 5,000 euros, donated by the Radisson Blu Senator Hotel in Lübeck. The four children on the jury gave their prize to “The Crossing” (“Flukten Over Grensen”) by Johanne Helgeland from Norway.  

To close the award ceremony, Lübeck’s mayor Jan Lindenau, paid homage to Linde Fröhlich, who has been the artistic director of the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck since 2001. Ms Fröhlich is retiring at the end of this year, and Thomas Hailer will be taking over the post in 2021.

The Nordische Filmtage Lübeck festival, presented by the city of Lübeck, each year presents current films from the Nordic and Baltic countries, and northern Germany. It is the largest festival on the European continent dedicated to films from that region. Originally planned as a hybrid festival, the 62nd NFL was held entirely online this year due to the restrictions of the covid pandemic. Online streaming from anywhere in Germany was available for 146 films, and proved very popular with at-home audiences. Due to the high demand, the festival management in coordination with its partners has decided to extend the streaming availability of the films through November 11, 2020. So many of the films can be watched via the online streaming platform nordische-filmtage.culturebase.org for three days after the official end of the festival.

The winners and honourable mentions at the 62nd Nordische Filmtage Lübeck:
NDR Film Prize
THE PIT (Bedre), dir: Dace Pūce, Latvia / Finland
Honourable Mention goes to:
HOPE (Håp), dir: Maria Sødahl, Norway / Sweden
DIANA’S WEDDING (Dianas bryllup), dir: Charlotte Blom, Norway / Sweden

Friends of the NFL Prize for Best First Feature:
GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (Seurapeli), dir: Jenni Toivoniemi, Finland

Lübecker Nachrichten Audience Prize  
FOREST GIANT (Metsäjätti), dir: Ville Jankeri, Finland

Interfilm Church Film Prize
A PERFECTLY NORMAL FAMILY (En helt almindelig Familie), dir: Malou Reymann, Denmark

Honourable Mention goes to:

TIGERS (Tigrar), Director: Ronnie Sandahl, Sweden / Denmark / Italy

Baltic Film Prize for a Nordic Film 
GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (Seurapeli), dir: Jenni Toivoniemi, Finland

Documentary Film Prize of the North DGB District
THE FIGHT FOR GREENLAND (Kampen om Grønland), dir: Kenneth Sorento, Denmark / Greenland / Norway
Honourable Mention goes to:
BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING LEFT BEHIND (Bag skyerne), dir: Kathrine Philp, Denmark

CineStar Prize
Honourable Mention goes to:
FIRST IN FIRST OUT, dir: Zacharias Zitouni, Germany

Children’s and Youth Film Prize
SISTERS (Tottori – Sommeren vi var alene), dir: Silje Salomonsen, Arild Østin Ommundsen, Norway
Honourable Mention goes to:
EDEN (Eden), dir: Ulla Heikkilä, Finland

Youth Jury Prize
TIGER (Tigrar), dir: Ronnie Sandahl, Sweden / Denmark / Italy

Children’s Jury Prize
THE CROSSING (Flukten over grensen), dir: Johanne Helgeland, Norway
Honourable Mention goes to:
SISTERS (Tottori – Sommeren vi var alene), dir: Silje Salomonsen, Arild Østin Ommundsen, Norway

A photograph of the prize presenters, juries, and the winners (via video) can be downloaded here (© Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, O. Malzahn). The jury statements can be downloaded here.

Additional information is available at www.nordische-filmtage.de

City of Lübeck
Nordische Filmtage Lübeck
Press and Publicity Department