From 9 to 13 November, Noordelijk Film Festival returns to Leeuwarden for its 42nd edition. The festival focuses on Dutch and other Northern Europe countries’ productions, featuring films from the Scandinavia region, the Baltic states, Iceland, and Great Britain.
This year’s theme is “Faces of the North”. Organizers want to expand their attention to the diversity and richness of the northern film landscape. “The north has diverse faces on many points of view: people, landscapes, cultures,” Marrit Greidanus, Festival Programmer, said. “We think it is important to highlight all these different areas, also looking beyond the northern Netherlands.”
The film program reflects this mission. The main section is “Northern Focus”, a selection of the latest international feature films and documentaries from the great northern region, including films not yet available in Dutch theatres. Other categories include “Dutch Eccentric”, focused on Dutch filmmakers; “Freezing Frames”, dedicated to films set in winter; and “EcoCinema”, a selection of documentaries and films about nature.
The festival keeps its connection with the northern Netherlands through the Noorderkroon Awards, a competition for professional and non-professional filmmakers based in Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe provinces. The Awards, now in their ninth edition, feature 21 movies over 7 categories. Winners will be announced on Sunday, 13 November, the Festival’s closing day.
The Frisian Film & Audio Archive (FFAA) recently produced a compilation of winter images of Friesland collected between 1917 and 1997. It is featured in the Festival’s program “as part of our contribution to the debate over climate change. Winters are not as harsh as they used to be,” Greidanus explained.
The Noordelijk Film Festival also has special events, like the showing of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) with a live score by Kinetophone. “People are welcome in Leeuwarden to experience a cosy festival, with many activities besides the film program,” Greidanus added. “The festival takes place in a welcoming environment, and all the locations are near.” This year’s Noorderlijk Film Festival includes a wide selection of films with English subtitles to make the event accessible to internationals.