5th anniversary “Northern Lights”: Greenlandic cinema, animation for kids with Belarusian voice-over, extended documentary program, fulldome shows and a talk about codependency relationships


The 5th Nordic-Baltic film festival “Northern Lights” is taking place in Minsk from May 10 to May 17 in the cinema “MIR”. 18 fiction and documentary films, a retrospective, children program “Zzya-kids” are included into the program as well as 7 industrial platform events. This year the festival will be visited by 7 foreign guests. The full program is available on the festival’s website.



“Northern Lights” traditionally represents films from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. We screened a film from Faroe Islands the last year and we are screening one from Greenland this year. Therefore, you should pay attention to a Greenlandic film “Anori”, which is represented by the main actress and singer Nukâka Coster-Waldau.


The entire program was selected specifically for five-year anniversary in order to correspond with the concept of this year “Everything is possible”. Besides, a huge part of the program consists of documentary films, and exactly a half of the films of the main program is made by women.


Each film of “Northern Lights” program is a Belarusian premiere. Although the world premieres of these pictures have already passed during various large film festivals all around the world.


Thus, the premieres of Finnish documentary film “The Magic Life of V” and Danish film “Holiday” happened at Sundance film festival in the USA.


An Icelandic film “Woman at war” directed by Benedikt Erlingsson, who is familiar to “Northern Lights” viewers by the film “The Show of Shows”, was rewarded with the main prize of “Critic’s week” program in Cannes 2018.


A Lithuanian film about non-hopelessness of psychological illnesses “Summer Survivors” has been premiered at Toronto International Film Festival.


A special screening of documentary film “My Granny From Mars” directed by Belarusian Alexander Mihalkovich, which was produced by the “Northern Lights” director Volia Chajkouskaya and which premiere has happened during the Jihlava (Czech Republic) film festival, will be shown at “Northern Lights” as well.


The premiere of Swedish documentary film “A Good week for democracy” is telling about something that is not possible in Belarus right now – about the free format of discussion and consideration between different political forces, media and mind leaders within a festival on a Swedish Island. The premiere happened at Götheborg festival.


An Estonian fiction film “Take it or leave it”, pushed forward to compete for Oscar on behalf of Estonia, tells about parental instincts of a young father and breaks all the stereotypes about masculinity.


Specially for the 5th anniversary “Northern Lights” makes a retrospective for the first time. It is a two-day films’ screenings of an outstanding Latvian director Laila Pakalnina, which will take place from May 11 to May 12 at “velcom cinema”.


And also for the first time, in honor of “Northern Lights” birthday, which we are inviting you to celebrate with us, fulldome films about real northern lights will be shown on May 12 and May 16 in Minsk Planetarium.


Latvian and Norwegian animation with Belarusian voice-over within the new children program “Zzya-kids” will become a good surprise for children and for family visits and the sign of the film festival growth. The screening of a cartoon “Jacob, Mimi and the Talking Dogs”, which was directed by the legend of Latvian animation Edmunds Jansons and tells a story about one boy’s adventures in the most authentic district of Riga, will happen on May 11. A Norwegian cartoon “Cattle Hill” about a cow that was dreaming to become a singer-star will be shown on May 12. As you can see – everything is possible indeed!


Huge attention is paid to topics that are important and actual for the world and Belarusian community in “Northern Lights” program. Thus, a big discussion about women sexuality and acceptance of one’s body happened in the last year within “Northern Lights” due to a Danish documentary picture “Venus. Let’s talk about sex”. This year we are inviting you to a film “Holiday”, followed by the discussion about codependent relationships, violence and how not to trap into the situation, described in the film. Experts as well as the director of the film Isabella Eklöf, who you might know as the co-scriptwriter of a Swedish film “Border”, directed by Ali Abbasi, who has won the main reward in “Un Certain Regard” section in Cannes 2018.


Also within the industrial platform of “Northern Lights”:



master class by a festival’s old friend and threefold nominee for Oscar Estonian film producer Ivo Felt dedicated to a question “How to organize an Oscar campaign and how much will it cost?”; https://web.facebook.com/events/574657053056237/·


workshop by the director Cecilia Björk and the producer Maximilien Van Aertryck from Sweden, who will tell about the work of the most progressive film company in the country (Götheborg), which was co-founded by Ruben Östlund, the director of “Square”, “Turist”, and about their philosophy of the exploitation of pictures in cinematography; https://web.facebook.com/events/278642723057667/·


open lecture about cinema and culture in Greenland and how cinematic art looks like in such a small country, which will be represented by Nukâka Coster-Waldau, the actress of the film “Anori”. “Anori” appears to be the first full-length picture in Greenland, which was directed and produced by a woman; https://web.facebook.com/events/434724213762754/·


Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network together with “Northern Lights” are inviting all the Belarusian documentalists with the projects that have international potential and a trailer with English subtitles. The best projects will be invited to B2B DOC programs and will get support in development and searching for international opportunities and partners. https://web.facebook.com/events/1091492474356281/


“Everything is possible” – we want to pay your attention to unbounded possibilities of a person in this world! We claim it is possible to have the independent film festival in Belarus being made for already five years, to talk on complicated topics openly, to find solutions to conflicts, to hold a discussion from a win-win position and to respect one another. The present mission of the festival is to inspire Belarusians to move forward, to smile and to listen to themselves.

Organizer: Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania (norden.lt).


Co-organizers: Norwegian Embassy in Kiev, Danish Cultural Institute in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Current Time TV, The unitary enterprise Kinovideoprokat of the Minsk City Executive Committee – KinoMinska, Volia Films production company.


General partners: Finnish Liaison Office 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, Icelandic Film Centre, Finnish Film Foundation, Estonian Film Institute, Norwegian Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Danish Film Instituteо, Lithuanian Film Centre, National Film Centre of Latvia, B2B DOC - Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network.


Partners: hotel DoubleTree by Hilton Minsk, official distributor of Ford in Belarus, Taxi 5, art-group «Sinie Gory», FirstRental rental house, “Svobody 4” bar, “Zerno” coffee shop, Moonlightroom.by, DataHata.by, Blockbuster.by.


Media partners: afisha.tut.by, citydog.by, 34mag.net, ByCard.by, Belarus3, Belarus24, The Village, mvradio.by

Translated from Belarusian by Alexandra Olentsevich


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