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Nordic Lights Film Festival

11th Annual Film Festival

Feb 28, 2020 - Mar 01, 2020

The Nordic Lights Film Festival is devoted to showcasing Nordic cinema.

For a decade, we have offered NLFF to Seattle audiences as an avenue to experience Nordic cinema in all its forms. The festival gives us the opportunity to share the richness and diversity of the Nordic cultures through the lens of film.

All films are screened at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood. Festival Passes and individual tickets for the 2020 Nordic Lights Film Festival are now on sale on SIFF's website. Members, be sure to use code NORDIC2020 at checkout. 

Our full schedule is now available! Please read below to see the full festival lineup. 

Purchase Festival Passes here
Cost: $65 for Members; $75 general admission
Individual tickets are now available on SIFF's website.

The marquee of SIFF uptown in blue, showing Nordic Lights Film Festival text


Join us February 24 at Lagunitas Brewing for our first-ever Suds for Cinema—a benefit for the Nordic Lights Film Festival! 

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2020 film festival! 

Photos from the 2020 Opening Night red carpet can be found here. Thank you to our photographer Eric Stavney!


Join us February 24th for Suds for Cinema—a benefit for Nordic Lights Film Festival! 

Bring your friends and join us at Lagunitas Brewing in Ballard to raise a glass and toast the success of the upcoming festival. Your ticket gets you entry and food, while every beer you buy directly supports NLFF. We'll show trailers of the upcoming movies, enjoy food and friends, and even have some door prizes. Plus, at this family-friendly event, kids 10 and under are FREE! 

Even better? Attend Suds for Cinema and you'll automatically join our Suds for Cinema Circle, just for proud supporters of NLFF. Your name will appear on the silver screen before the films play at SIFF for the festival! Get your Suds for Cinema tickets here



Our opening film will be screened on Friday February 28th at 7pm
SIFF Uptown Cinema, 511 Queen Anne

The County Héraðið
Drama | Iceland | 2019 | 92 minutes | Grímur Hákonarson

Set in a small Icelandic farming community, The County tells the story of Inga, a middle-aged dairy farmer who rebels against the all-powerful local Cooperative. Inga tries to get other farmers to join her in rising up against the Co-op’s corruption, but encounters great resistance, forcing her to confront the community’s dependence and loyalty to this single, dominant enterprise. Inga must use her resourcefulness and cunning to break free of the Co-op’s grasp and finally live life on her own terms.

Cast: Arndís Hrönn Egilsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson

About the director: Grímur Hákonarson is an Icelandic film director and screenwriter. His first feature film was SUMMERLAND (2010), and was nominated for the Edda Award for Best Screenplay. His next feature film was RAMS, about two estranged brothers on the Icelandic countryside who come together to save their sheep. Hákonarson won several awards for RAMS among them the prestigious Un Certain Regard Award in Cannes. RAMS was screened at the 2016 NLFF.

Join us for an after party at the House Studios—a short walking distance from the Uptown Theater. This hip, modern space is the perfect stage for a party celebrating Nordic cinema. Admission to the after party is included for festival pass holders. Attendees who do not wish to purchase a festival pass can also purchase an opening night ticket, which grants admission to both the film and after party, for $20 for Museum and SIFF Members and $25 general admission. 



Sticks and Stones/Brakland
Drama | Denmark | 2018 | 93 minutes | Martin Skovbjerg

Simon arrives in Vesterby from Copenhagen. He is an outsider in a brand-new place and alone until he meets Bjarke - Vesterby's alpha male and heir to the local speaker factory. The two start challenging each other in intimate and transgressive actions as they forge a friendship. But when embezzlement forces Vesterby's speaker factory to close, the town is bereaved of its livelihood, and Bjarke's family is blamed. The anger thrust upon him by the locals triggers the beast in Bjarke, and Simon is faced with either having to turn away or save his friend from self-destruction.

Cast: Natalia ReyesPatricia SchumannEmma Sehested Høeg

Happy Ending
Drama/Comedy | Denmark | 2018 | 96 minutes | Hella Joof

Helle has been waiting forever for her workaholic husband to retire, so they can enjoy the autumn of their life together. She really wants to travel and explore the world with him – but when Peter comes home from his last day of work, life takes a surprising new turn, as he has a big surprise for her. Helle and Peter split up and they each set out on a blazing journey of discovery, filled with new opportunities, problems and dreams…But can you start over after 50 years of marriage? And can you live without each other after all?

The Hypnotist/Olliver Hawk
Documentary | Finland | 2019 | 73 minutes | Arthur Franck

In 1980, Finland’s most famous hypnotist Olavi Hakasalo, a.k.a Olliver Hawk, was put on trial accused of fraud. His mission in life had been to spread the gospel of the power of suggestion, and he was willing to risk everything to become a player of political influence. But in the corridors of power, with a nation’s destiny at stake, an eccentric showman sitting on too many secrets is considered a liability.

Director Arthur Franck will be attending the festival and participate in a Q&A session after the screening.

My Life as a Comedian/En komikers uppväxt
Drama | Sweden | 2019 | 92 minutes | Rojda Sekersöz

Juha 12, is a class clown in the suburb of Sävbyholm, Sweden. Being funny is the only thing he is good at and all he wants is to fit in to the social pecking order in school. When Juha, as an adult, performs his stand-up My Life as a Comedian, to sold out theatres and tells the both horrid and funny stories from his childhood to the audience he gets an unexpected visit from an old friend from school. The visit prompts him to return to Sävbyholm and deal with his past.

Cast: Johan Rheborg, Loke Hellberg, Ulla Skogh

Nordic Shorts

The Nordic Lights Film Festival is pleased to present the popular Nordic Shorts series. This group of entertaining and thought-provoking short films from the Nordic countries highlights the growing art of short films. Through these films, we see a glimpse of the Nordic countries through the lens of talented filmmakers.

Iceland | 2019 | 10.5 minutes | Haukur Björgvinsson
A young child meets her estranged trailer park father for the first time. What the father doesn’t know is that his child now identifies as a girl.

A Chamber Play/Ett kammarspel
Finland |2018 | 20 minutes | Viktor Granö
The psychoanalyst Helena receives a new patient, Alice. But the story Alice is telling gets uncomfortably close to Helena's own life.

Sweden | 2018 | 8 minutes | Erik Warolin
When Jonna is told by her boss to be more friendly with the diners’ customers she could never believe what that would result in. What at first seems like a polite conversation with the only guest quickly escalate to an unexpected turn of events.

Poor Things/Stakler
Denmark | 2019 | 18 minutes | Joachim Morre
One day, Ronja is being followed by an unknown woman. The experience sparks off her interest and she is instantly drawn towards the mystery surrounding the stranger and her actions. To her regret, she is not the only one being followed by the woman.

To Share a Flame/ dele en flamme
Norway |2019 | 10.5 minutes | Kathleen Johnsen
We meet, we fall in love, but how do we keep the flame alive? A mature couple makes a new attempt to keep their relationship going. The outcome however, is not quite as expected. To Share a Flame is based on a short story by Norwegian writer Annette Mattsson.

Awaiting Death/I väntan på döden
Sweden | 2019 | 12 minutes | Lars Vega
A son arrives at the hospital to watch over his father's death bed. When the son wants one last nice moment, his father would rather find out what to do with the two opened cans of mustard.

The Perfect Patient/Quick
Feature/Thriller | Sweden | 2019 | 122 minutes | Mikael Håfström

The Perfect Patient is the captivating story about the greatest judicial scandal in Swedish history, the story about the reporter who questioned an entire legal system. Hannes Råstam was dedicated to proving the innocence of Thomas Quick and unmask the legal chaos which sentenced Quick to a life in psychiatric prison. However, no one was interested in exonerating and freeing the worst serial killer in Sweden, a cannibalistic rapist who had been sentenced for eight murders and confessed to another twenty-five. This tale lays out a puzzle for the viewer to put together as the incredible story behind the Thomas Quick case is laid bare piece by piece. The audience will be continuously captivated by secret sources and one person's resilient sense of justice all the way until the overwhelming ending.

Cast: David Dencik, Jonas Karlsson, Alba August



Drama | Norway | 2018 | 83 minutes | I Eirik Svensson

It’s the day before Christmas and Vilde hangs out with her friends when she learns that her mother has been in an accident. She is forced to contact her father, whom she has never met. She tries to escape it all with a one-way ticket to Tokyo but is caught up in an emotional first meeting with her father. 

Cast: Birthe Neumann, Kurt Ravn, Charlotte Sieling

The Seer and the Unseen
Documentary | Iceland/USA | 2019 | 86 minutes | Sara Dosa

The volcanic rock that covers most of Iceland is not just beautiful and protected in the Nature Conservation register, it is also purportedly the home to elves, trolls, and other hidden people. When a new road is set to be built through a lava filed, environmentalists including Ragnihildur “Ragga” Jónsdottir - a “seer” who can communicate with elves  - must fight to preserve the sacred rock while combating Iceland’s push to grow economically in this magically real fable by Sara Dosa.

Ragga’s gift has made her an expert interpreter between humans and the elves, which is how she becomes desperately aware that the lava rock must be saved. Following Ragga’s fight to save their home, while exploring folklore, the financial history of the country, and the environmental impact of this new road, The Seer and the Unseen shows the surprising power of belief, the profound meaning of home, and the invisible forces – be they elves or the marketplace – that shape our visible worlds and transform our natural landscapes.

Agnes Joy
Drama | Iceland | 2019 | 93 minutes | Silja Hauksdóttir

Rannveig is experiencing burnout in all aspects of her mundane suburban life. She's stuck with a job she hates and a marriage that is slowly dying. On top of that, she's constantly fighting with her rebellious daughter, Agnes, and can't face the possibility of Agnes growing up and leaving her behind. When a new neighbor, Hreinn, shows up at their doorstep, Rannveig and family face new challenges that are beyond their control.

Cast:  Anna Kristín ArngrímsdóttirEdda ArnljótsdóttirÞorsteinn Bachmann 

Laugh or Die/Suomen hauskin mies
Drama/History/War | Finland | 2018 | 103 minutes | Heikki Kujanpää

In a detention camp in 1918, a group of Finnish actors are sentenced to death. When an important German general arrives, the camp's vicious commandant forges out a cruel plan: the prisoners must perform a comedy—and if they can make the visiting general laugh, they will be spared. A story about zest for life and power of laughter. Based on true events.

Cast:  Martti SuosaloJani VolanenLeena Pöysti 

Out Stealing Horses/Ut og stjæle hestar
Feature | Norway | 2019 | 123 minutes | Hans Petter Moland

Out Stealing Horses follows 67-year-old Trond Sander who, after the death of his wife, retires to a desolate place in the east of Norway. As winter arrives, he discovers he has a neighbor, a man he knew during the summer of 1948. This leads Trond to reflect on a childhood summer he spent with his father. Long afternoons in the forest, rides on wild horses and hard work felling wood begin to blur into a series of images of carefree happiness but also fateful experiences.

Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Bjørn Floberg, Tobias Santelman,

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

  • iceland
  • finn spark
  • Finlandia
  • Sons of Norway