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Norway wins two top prizes at Lübeck’s Nordic Film Days

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- Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken’s feature debut, Returning Home, received the €12,500 award in the main competition

Norway wins two top prizes at Lübeck’s Nordic Film Days
Director Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken receiving his award (© NDR)

Norway had 32 films in the official programme of the 57th Nordic Film Days Lübeck – the largest showcase outside of Scandinavia dedicated to films from the Nordic and Baltic countries and Northern Germany – which ended yesterday (8 November), and two of them returned with prizes. One of the 126 entries in the main competition, Norwegian director Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken’s feature debut, Returning Home [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, won the top NDR Film Prize, and Grethe Bøe-Waal’s Operation Arctic [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
was awarded by the Children’s Jury. 

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“Wars not only destroy the countries in which they are fought, but they also damage everyone involved in them. We honour a film made by an ambitious and highly talented young filmmaker that combines brilliant images of nature and terrific acting to address an important contemporary issue,” said the jury, which gave the  €12,500 award to Dahlsbakken.

Returning Home follows a Norwegian army officer (Ingar Helge Gimle) who returns to his family after serving in Afghanistan for almost a year. After he does not return from hunting reindeer in the mountains as promised, his two sons (Åsmund Høeg and Fredrik Grøndahl) decide to try to track him down.

Iceland had three entries in competition, winning three prizes: Dagur Kári’s Virgin Mountain [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which last month received the Nordic Council Film Prize (see the news), took home the Lübecker Nachrichten Audience Award (worth €5,000) and the Interfilm Church Prize (€2,500), while the Baltic Jury handed their Nordic Prize to Grímur Hákonarson’s Rams [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Grimur Hakonarson
film profile
]
.

“We chose this film because it is extremely exciting and because of the impressive way it portrays the three siblings sticking together,” argued the Children’s Jury, comprising four boys and girls aged 11 and 12, as they chose Bøe-Waal’s Operation Arctic as the winner of the €5,000 award. Meanwhile, the Children’s and Youth Film Jury preferred Finnish director Esa Illi’s Other Girls [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
when it came to dishing out its €5,000 prize.

A total of 180 films were screened during the five-day programme, which also saw prizes go to Danish director Camilla Nielsson’s Democrats [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(the €2,500 Documentary Film Prize of the Lübeck Trade Unions) and German director Johanna Huth’s The Ferryman and His Wife (the CineStar Prize for Best Short in the Film Forum section).

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