The film awards for the 65th Nordic Film Days Lübeck were handed out this evening at the gala Prize Night at Theater Lübeck. MC Loretta Stern hosted the ceremony during which prizes worth 65,000 euros were awarded. The first of the awards – an historical brick from Lübeck – was the honorary award handed to Swedish director and screenwriter Roy Andersson during the opening night ceremonies on November 1, 2023.
Four prizes were handed out to narrative features in Competition. The NDR Film Prize, at 12,500 euros, the award with the highest endowment went to the Finnish-Swedish Christmas drama “Family Time” (“Mummola”) by Tia Kouvo, who also was in Lübeck last year with a short film.
The jury of the INTERFILM Church Prize, endowed with 5,000 euros, went to the Swedish-Danish-Finnish film “Paradise is Burning” (“Paradiset Brinner”), directed by Mika Gustafson. The Baltic Film Prize for a Nordic film, also endowed with 5,000 euros, went to Malene Choi for her autobiographic Danish production “The Quiet Migration” (“Stille Liv”) and Ole Gæver garnered the Lübecker Nachrichten prize (5,000) for “Let the River Flow” (“Ellos eatnu – La elva leve”).
The films in the Documentary section were in the running for the trade unions’ prize, endowed by the DGB District North with 5,000 euros. It was won by Jella Bethmann’s ‘portrait of a generous woman’ (as the jury said), “Mrs Hansen & the Bad Companions (Inger & det dårlige selskab) from Denmark. Bethman thanked Inger Hansen and the people in need living in her house in her acceptance speech.
The CineStar Award, endowed with 5,000 euro goes to the best short film in the section Filmforum. This year, it went to “*(In)visible Night”, made by Hamburg’s Iwidobo Kollektiv, made up of filmmakers Naomi Kelechi Odhiambo, Maximilian Mundt, and Jasmin Luu. The jury gave an honourable mention to “Of Kisses and Capes” (“Was wir wollen”) by Elena Weiss.
Two prizes were awarded in the Young Audience section. The Children’s and Youth Film prize, endowed with 5,000 euros by the Geimeinnützige Sparkassenstiftung (regional savings bank foundation) went to Manish Sharma, one of the actors in Kaveh Tehranis’ turbulent Norwegian film comedy about gender, class, and identity “Listen Up!” (“Hør her’a!”). The Nordic Film Days children’s jury were fans of Aurora Gossé’s Norwegian comedy about the by-no-means easy path of a 12-year-old girl as she becomes a “Dancing Queen”. The children’s jury prize also carries 5,000 in prize money, endowed by Finnlines Deutschland.
The Nordic Shorts and Young Audience sections also award 5,000 euros for the best Baltic or Nordic short film, endowed by Teschke & Collegen Versicherungsmakler. The jury chose the Swedish short “Gösta Petter-land” (“George-Peterland), directed by ChristerWahlberg and Sebastian Rudolph Jensen. The Icelandic short “Fár” by Gunnur Martinsdóttir Schlüter, who studied stage directing in Hamburg, was singled out for an honourable mention.
Finally, two awards were given outside of specific festival sections. The honorary president of the festival, Liv Ullmann, awarded the Prize for Best Narrative Debut, endowed by the Friends of the Nordic Film Days with 7,500 euros, went to director Laurens Perol and lead actor Kornelia Melsæter for their musical road trip “Practice” (“Å Øve”). Laurens Perol, like his on-screen protagonist, hitchhiked to Oslo for an audition.
The Swedish-Danish-Finnish film “Paradise is Burning” (“Paradiset Brinner”) by Mika Gustafson took home the Youth jury prize. This prize is endowed with 5000 euros by the city of Lübeck and is awarded by a jury made up of local young people between the ages of 16 and 19.
More than 180 films will have been shown in almost 250 public screenings at Lübeck venues during the Nordic Film Days, which wrap up tomorrow. And more than 50 percent of that line-up will be available for streaming by audiences all over Germany.