Courtesy of Nordic Lights Film Festival

Fifth annual Nordic Lights Film Festival this weekend

Information provided by Nordic Heritage Museum

This weekend watch films from all five Nordic countries during the Nordic Lights Film Festival on January 17 – 19, 2014, at SIFF Film Center on the Seattle Center campus.

Now in its fifth year, the Nordic Lights Film Festival features feature-length films, documentaries, and short films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden — and this year, Greenland — over three days.

The event will open at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 17 with a reception at SIFF hosted by SWEA (Swedish Women’s Educational Association), followed at 7:00 p.m. by the feature film Inuk filmed entirely in Greenland.

Directed by Mike Magidson — who will be in attendance at the opening — this coming-of-age story is strengthened by exceptional performances from non-professional Inuit actors against the striking backdrop of Greenland.

Saturday begins with the documentary Finnish Blood Swedish Heart, a father-son journey with a playful format that weaves the family story of immigration from Finland to Sweden with musical performances by second-generation Swedish-Finnish musicians. Next is a suite of short films all presenting different points of view from the Sámi community — the indigenous peoples of Scandinavia.

The afternoon features The Good Life, a documentary from Denmark, and the highly anticipated psychological thriller A Hijacking. In this feature film, a Danish cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates who hold the crew hostage in a cynical game of life and death.

Next, Victoria, a handsome adaptation of Knut Hansun’s acclaimed 1898 novel,will be introduced by producer Pancho Kohner, who will stay for questions after the screening. This sumptuous drama is set against the backdrop of Norwegian fjords and forests at the turn of the 20th century, and tells the story of star-crossed lovers Johannes and Victoria. Jakob Oftebro, who plays Johannes, was recently chosen as one of the 10 best young European actors of 2014. (See the announcement for more info.) The full day of film ends with “Nordic Shorts” — seven short films that range in subject from fearless Vikings to Coffee klatch confessions.

A variety of movies continues on Sunday, beginning with the Finnish comedy Village People, in which a quirky cast of characters frantically prepares for the president of the Republic of Finland to visit their small town in northern Finland.

The documentary Ash from Iceland follows three farming families living under the volcano that erupted in 2010 over the course of a year to see the effect of the ash on their lives and livelihood. The feature Swedish drama Call Girl reveals the seamy side of Stockholm in the 1970s.

The weekend concludes with two emotional and engaging dramas. From Finland, Open Up to Me follows Maarit, a beautiful, intelligent woman, who used to be a man. As she builds a new life and finds new love, Maarit has to embrace a world where only she can determine her sense of belonging. ThenBlondie, from Sweden, features three sisters, each grappling with her own personal crisis, who return home for a big birthday party their dominating mother has arranged for herself.

Read about the full line-up of films and watch previews on the Nordic Heritage Museum website at

Admission is $8 for Nordic Heritage Museum Members and SIFF Members and $10 for the general public. Nordic Lights Film Festival passes are available for $50 for members and $55 for the general public. All ticketing will be through SIFF:

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