Northern Lights Film Festival summary: more than 500 guests, top films screened twice



The 4th Northern Lights Nordic and Baltic Film Festival had a huge success in Minsk on April 19-26. Over 5 000 guests have attended film screenings and industrial platforms events.  


18 films from 9 participant countries (with Faroe Islands participating for the first time), 15 international guests, 8 industrial platform events - all have given an opportunity to Belarusian and foreign cinema and culture professionals and amateurs to network and exchange knowledge.


A Norwegian writer and film critic Erlend Loe was invited as a honorary guest of the Festival. His headline events drew a full house: both a talk in the EventSpace on April 18th and a discussion in the Ember Restaurant at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on April 19th. The latter featured Belarusian writers, media editors, and special guests. The photos from these events are available here and here.


The official Festival grand opening took place on April 19th in “Mir” cinema with the participation of the representatives from partner embassies and important guests. The Deputy Chairman of the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania Sharunas Radvilavicius,  Norway’s Ambassador to Kiev Ole Terje Horpestad, Natalia Arshavskaya from the “Current Time” TV channel, Director of the Danish Cultural Institute in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia Simon Drewsen Holmberg, Norwegian writer, film critic, and screenwriter Erlend Loe, Faroe Islands’ director Sakarys Stórá and producer Jón Hammer took a floor for a welcoming word. The event was hosted by Volia Chaikouskaya and Anton Mech. A thematic exhibition by a Russian photographer Max Avdeev “Expedition to the edge of the world” was opened in the foyer of the “Mir” cinema. The exhibition visually described the astonishing and inspiring nature of the Faroe Islands. More photos from the opening ceremony and afterparty are available here.


The opening film “Dreams by the sea”, which was presented by the director and producer from the Faroe Islands, and other films screened on the first three festival days were completely sold out. So, for the first time in the Festival’s history three films had additional screenings.


Special attention was paid to the Baltic cinema since this year the Baltic Republics are celebrating the 100th anniversary of their independence. The Festival program included 6 films from all Bartic participant-states (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) - Latvian feature film “Chronicles of Melanie” by Viesturs Kairish, Estonian documentary “Soviet Hippies” by Terje Toomistu, poetical Lithuanian documentary by Mindaugas Survila “The Ancient Woods”, feature film “The Kings’ Shift” by Ignas Mishkinis, Estonian indie film “The End of the Chain” by Priit Pääsuke, who also held a master-class in the Academy of Arts and visited the “BelarusFilm” studio museum; and Latvian documentary “Solving my Mother”.


The master-classes by the Latvian theater and film director Viesturs Kairish and Swedish director and casting director Katja Wik were highly popular with the public. For the first time the “Northern Lights” Film Festival held Film+Talk format event. A notorious Danish documentary “Venus. Let’s talk about sex” was screened on April 24th in the “Mir” cinema followed by a discussion “Disarmed Venus? A talk on how our desires are formed” featuring a Danish producer Kirstine Barford.


The photos from this event can be found here.


Music concert were introduced to the Festival program starting this year: “Bon Voyage” music band has performed a chamber concert of classical Scandinavian and Baltic music and a Finnish organist Julia Tamminen together with “Bon Voyage” band have performed an organ concert “Spring Song”. Both concerts were completely full.


The Festival program was completed by a screening of “The Road Movie” documentary (director Dmitrii Kalashnikov), which was produced by a Belarusian producer and “Northern Lights” Film Festival director Volia Chaikouskaya. The film was screened at more than 80 film festivals around the world, it was distributed in the American cinemas. The world premiere took place at the First Appearance Competition at IDFA Amsterdam 2016, and now the film was eventually appreciated by the Belarusian audience.


It’s worth reminding that this year’s Festival was held under the motto “Change the angle”. “Northern Lights” offered an opportunity to look at things and events from an analytical perspective, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, see a particular situations with the eyes of your mother, child, lover, enemies or friends.


To support the motto “Change the angle” the “Northern Lights” team has created a distinctive visual style and promo video featuring the “Mir” cinema director Tatsiana Karnialiuk, the First Secretary of the Embassy of Sweden to Belarus Magnus Setterberg, the “Northern Lights” Film Festival director Volia Chaikouskaya, and a Technological University student Ulad Lukyanchuk. This idea was inspired by masterpieces of art and cinema.


Several hand-made mirrors have appeared in Minsk city space. Besides taking an extraordinary selfie in these mirrors, anyone had an opportunity to reflect, try to look at things from a different perspective. Hutkasmachnaa studio along with the “Northern Lights” team have placed about 10 mirrors with a “Change the angle” inscription in different locations in Minsk to support this year’s motto and visual concept.


We hope that you had just as many new impressions, thoughts and pleasure as we did this season!


Continue to follow the news on our social accounts in Facebook, VK and Instagram, as well as official website You can find all Festival film trailers from this and previous years in our YouTube account.

And the next year we promise everything to be even greater and Northern hot!

      Organizer: Office of Nordic Council of Ministers in Lithuania (


      Co-organizers: Embassy of Norway in Kiev, Danish Cultural Institute in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Current Time TV, the unitary enterprise Kinovideoprokat of the Minsk City Executive Committee – KinoMinska. 
     General partners: Liaison Office of the Embassy of Finland in Belarus, Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden in Belarus, Embassy of Estonia in Belarus, Embassy of Lithuania in Belarus, Embassy of Latvia in Belarus, Embassy of Denmark in Moscow, Representation of Faroe Islands in Moscow,  Icelandic Film Centre, Finnish Film Foundation, Estonian Film Institute, Lithuanian Film Centre, National Film Centre of Latvia, Norwegian Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Danish Film Institute. 


     Partners: Hotel Double Tree Hilton, official distributor of Ford in Belarus, Taxi 5, art-group 'Sinie Gory', production company Volia Films, production company ‘Our Studio’, rental-House FirstRental, bar Svobody 4, coffee shop ‘Zerno’,, Event Space,,

    Media partners:,,,,,, Belarus3, Belarus24,, The Village.



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