The 57th Nordic Film Days Lübeck opens its doors on 4 November to a five-day celebration of films from Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
The main feature film competition this year welcomes six Danish-produced titles, including Denmark's Oscar entry "A War" by Tobias Lindholm and "Land of Mine" by Martin Zandvliet, two stories exploring the human costs of war, now and in the past.
Pilou Asbæk and Tuva Novotny in "A War" by Tobias Lindholm. Photo: Per Arnesen
Fairly full dance cards
Both films are continuing their busy run on the fall festival circuit. "A War," with Pilou Asbæk as a company commander stationed in Afghanistan who makes a fatal split-second decision, world premiered at Venice and has since ventured to the festivals in Zürich, Reykjavik and Sao Paulo (until 4 November). Next stop after Lübeck is the AFI Fest in Los Angeles, a first important step in the film's Oscar campaign leading up to the nominations round later in the year.
"Land of Mine" has had shoulder-to-shoulder screenings since its overwhelmingly warm reception at Toronto. The film features Roland Møller as a sergeant in the aftermath of WWII in charge of a group of enfeebled German POWs forced to clear Danish beaches of landmines. Now and in the next few weeks, red carpet venues include, in addition to Lübeck, the festivals in Tokyo, Sao Paulo, and Thessaloniki.
Danish-Icelandic titles in competition
A total of six Danish titles are showing in Nordic Film Days' Feature Film Competition. In addition to "A War" and "Land of Mine", the audience will get the chance to catch Christina Rosendahl's "The Idealist," Frederikke Aspöck's "Rosita," Michael Noer's "Key House Mirror," and Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson's "Sparrows," made in close collaboration with Iceland and Croatia.
The competition line-up tells of the strong film ties between Denmark and Iceland, as an additional two Icelandic titles in the Feature Film Competition have Danish co-production partners: Dágur Kari's "Virgin Mountain" and Grímur Hákonarson's Cannes winner "Rams."
More than (feature) films
Among the good twenty-plus Danish titles in the programme are also short films and documentaries, including Camilla Nielsson's award-winning "Democrats" which will form the centre of a master class, "Compelling Documentation," with the director talking about her approach in getting behind the curtains of the negotiations leading up to Zimbabwe's new constitution.
Discussing the topic of distribution, the festival will be hosting a round table on audience engagement with, among others, the German co-producer of "Land of Mine," Malte Grunert of Amusement Park.