The Nordic Lights Film Festival is devoted to showcasing Nordic cinema—this year virtually!
Note that films will not be available to view after midnight on Saturday March 13, when the festival ends.
Films will be viewed on the Elevent platform. Read their technical FAQs here.
View the festival trailer, film maker interviews, and more on YouTube here.
All films are available to watch during the run of the festival. You choose your own viewing schedule but once you start a movie you have 24 hours to finish it.
Due to the pandemic this year’s festival will be virtual.*
As always, our festival includes a great selection of Nordic shorts. This year we are also thrilled to present a new partnership: NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth) will join the festival with a shorts program that includes emerging filmmakers from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. These filmmakers will also participate in a virtual panel discussion. More information about this panel and other talks will be available here soon.
Festival passes include access to all feature-length films, Nordic shorts, and NFFTY shorts. All Nordic shorts can be viewed by purchasing a single Nordic shorts ticket. All NFFTY shorts can be viewed by purchasing a single NFFTY shorts ticket. All feature-length films can be viewed by purchasing individual tickets.
*Please note that some of the feature films have been geo-blocked by their production companies, meaning these films will only be viewable in Washington State. Each film's description below will include information about geo-blocking.
Feature-length films are included in the Festival Pass or can be purchased as individual tickets. Some films are geo-blocked; check each listing for details.
This feel-good movie starts with Emma who wants to become a fashion model and writes a letter to the founder of a local theatre group, Pär Johansson and the Glada Hudik-theatre for help. An unattainable dream for most, especially if you have a disability. Together with a group of unusual models they begin a dizzying journey which will take them to New York. This is a heartwarming film about hope, dreams, and everyone’s right to joy and love. (No geo-blocking)
After breaking up with her boyfriend, Hanna, 28, returns to her small hometown for a temporary position on the local news. When her beloved father, the pastor with the big beard, reveals that he really wants to be Marianne, Hanna's world is turned upside down. But for Marianne there is no turning back, she must finally be allowed to be who she is. It will be a complicated journey for Hanna who knew neither herself nor her father as well as she thought. A warmhearted feelgood story about the courage to be yourself and the joy of being loved for the person you are. (No geo-blocking)
This award-winning film traces the dramatic aftermath of a tragic event in a middle-class suburb of Oslo. During a break in school 13-year-old Lykke, the daughter of a prominent Labor Party member, seriously injures her classmate Jamie, the son of a high-profile right-wing politician. When Jamie later dies in the hospital, contradicting versions of what actually happened make a difficult and traumatic situation worse. Was it only innocent play? Liv, the school’s principal, and the secret lover of Jamie’s father, must find the strength to confront a community in distress, and her own highly conflicted emotions. (Only viewable in Washington State)
It’s July 29, 1981. In the majestic St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Lady Diana Spencer marries Prince Charles. The same day, another celebration takes place in the canteen of a Norwegian small-town factory. It’s the newly-weds Liv and Terje’s wedding party. In the pram lies their new-born daughter, Diana, who, like her famous namesake, will be facing a lot of chaos in the years to come due to her parents. The wedding, and following years, are less glamorous than the royal counterpart, but indisputably much more fun. Through the eyes of Diana, we witness the rollercoaster of her parent’s marriage. To her, they are the worst parents in the world. Miles away from doing a decent job, constantly fighting yet still in love by the time Diana is preparing for her own marriage 30 years later. (Only viewable in Washington State)
The year is 1915. Helene Schjerfbeck is a forgotten artist living in the countryside with her elderly mother. Years have passed since her last exhibition, and Helene has continued to paint only for her own passion. Everything changes when an art dealer discovers Helene and her 159 amazing paintings and wants to organize a large solo exhibition. However, the most important moment in Helene’s life is brought on by her encounter with Einar Reuters. Einar is a forester and a passionate admirer of Helene and her art. He becomes Helene’s confidant and the tragic love of her life.
Inspired by true events, Helene describes the life of Finland’s’ most acclaimed painter Helene Schjerfbeck 1915–1923. (No geo-blocking)
Indíana Jónsdóttir lives in a large apartment block full of immigrants, whom she despises, and makes her living by preying upon the public welfare system. In her small private garden, she tends to her award-winning laburnum tree. When her only son turns up with a foreign girlfriend, Indíana’s world is upended.
From the director: “Everything revolves around that La-Z-Boy chair that Indíana has, controlling her kingdom,” Bragason explains. “Indíana is afraid of everything, she’s afraid of life, she’s afraid of the world outside. She controls her immediate surroundings, the people close to her, in a very calculated manner, but she has no control of the outside world. And that’s the story—when this outside world comes in.” (No geo-blocking)
Six friends go on their yearly fishing trip, leaving wives and worries at home. Things get out of hand from the very beginning and spiral downward from there. With spirits crushed by a massive hangover, the friends try to postpone the consequences of their behavior for as long as possible. (No geo-blocking)
It’s the late 1800’s and a bird catcher—Esmar—and his wife Johanna are trying to survive on their leased farm above the dramatic cliffs of the Faroe Islands. Local law dictates that unless they have a son—an heir to their leasehold—they will be evicted. With time running out, Johanna gives birth to their third daughter and they become desperate.
Livia, the local innkeeper and the couples' friend, suggests that the only chance left for Johanna to have a son is for him to be fathered by another man. It is unthinkable, but they have been pushed to the brink. Esmar chooses Livia’s lover—a French Captain—but none of them can foretell the ultimate consequences. (No geo-blocking)
A group of old friends gathers to celebrate Mitzi’s surprise birthday party over a nostalgic weekend at an idyllic seaside villa—just like they used to do as teenagers. Familiar surroundings and the old rituals get to the core of the group and make them forget their adulthood. Revelations make them reassess their pasts as well as the present. (Geo-blocked to exclude California; viewable in all other states)
April 9, 1940: Denmark is invaded by Nazi Germany with demands for immediate and unconditional surrender. The government surrenders after a few hours and begins cooperating with the Nazis. On the other side of the Atlantic is Denmark's ambassador to the United States of America, a daredevil and a man of the world—Henrik Kauffmann—who is willing to put everything on the line. He refuses to follow the German directives and engineers a rebellious plan to defeat Hitler and give the Danish people back their freedom. Based on real events. (Only viewable in Washington State)
Short films ("shorts") are included in the Festival Pass or can be purchased as a single ticket that allows access to all short films. No short films are geo-blocked.
Last Dance/ Síðasti dansinn
Short/Drama | Iceland | 2020 | 12 minutes | Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir
It’s a spring morning in Reykjavík. A man and a woman wake up in their bed and know that their relationship has ended. They take a drive out of the city, towards the end of love, and perhaps towards the end of the world. A story of love, loss, and the mysterious power of nature herself.
Short/Comedy | Sweden |2020 | 13 minutes |J onatan Etzler
A car belonging to a suspected hit-and-run driver has been spotted outside a swimming pool complex and the police are there to arrest the fugitive. It's not as easy to catch the suspect as they thought.
Whatever Happened to Ms. Longstocking/Valla Villekulla
Short/Comedy/Mockumentary | Sweden | 2020 | 15 minutes |Jimmy Olsson
Investigating journalist Jimmy Olsson wants to find out what happened to Pippi Longstocking after we left her in her childhood. How were her teens and what happened to her relationship with Tommy and Annika? How is she doing today?
Short/Drama | Finland |2019 | 12 minutes | Katja Korhonen
In the last hours of the night, Mirja, a night radio host, gets a call on the air from Aija, who tells of a possible end of the world. Eventually this unexpected call sets the wheels in motion, bursting Mirja's bubble in a way she never would have expected.
Yes People/ Já-Fólkið
Short/Animation | Iceland | 2020 | 8 minutes 30 sec | Gísli Darri Halldórsson
One morning an eclectic mix of people face their everyday battles—work, school, dishwashing. As the day progresses, their relationships are tested along with their capacities to cope. This film is an Oscar shortlistee—view the trailer here.
Distance and Longing
Short/Drama | Denmark | 2020 |15 minutes | Mikkel Warrer, Cecilie Christiansen, David Ostenfeld
In an analog world, a boy named William lives alone with his father. He finds his diseased mom’s camera and with that a whole new world opens before his eyes...a world full of memories his grieving dad has tried to forget.
Covid Side Effects
Short/Comedy | Sapmi/Norway | 2020 |5 minutes | Sara Margrethe Oskal
This short film shows how pandemic and physical distancing times can be helpful when trying to break up with a partner whom one hasn't had strong feelings for in long time.
Everything is Alive/Buot Ealla
Short/Music | Sapmi/Norway | 2020 | 4 minutes | Kajsa Balto
Buot eallá means "Everything is alive," referring to the ancient Sámi belief that nature has a soul.
NFFTY shorts are included in the Festival Pass or can be purchased as a single ticket that allows access to all short films. Some films are geo-blocked; check each listing for details.
Short| Norway | 2020 |7 minutes | Mone Frogg, Torjus Thesen, Espen Skjong Knutsen
A young man proposes to his girlfriend on a magical summer evening but doesn’t end up getting the answer he expected.
Downs of the Dead
Short | Norway |2020 | 23 minutes | Even Husby Grødahl, Jesper Breen Frilseth, August Jordfald, Petter Brenni Gulbrandsen
When the zombie apocalypse breaks out at Soltoppen—housing for the mentally disabled—it is up to Nurse Morten and Resident Arvid to save them.
Short | Denmark | 2020 | 20 minutes |Tone Ottilie, Mille Astrup, Emil Aagaard, Ida Åkerstrøm Knudsen
Frede goes with her big sister to a queer techno party to win back her ex. When this goes wrong, she tries to follow her sister’s less romantic advice on how to get over your ex and not be a "babydyke."
Short | Denmark | 2019 | 15 minutes | Vigga Wagner, Liva Bech Holskov, Mikkel Warrer
A girl lives a solitary life in her own magnificent underwater world inside her apartment. But when she wakes up one morning to find that her beloved goldfish is dead, she is forced out of her own safe reality.
Far from Now
Short | Sweden | 2020 | 5:30 minutes | Gustav Bondeson
Two up-and-coming actors find themselves in a world that increasingly resembles the film that they are about to film. This movie reflects on a time in lockdown and questions what is important in life.