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Frequently asked questions

A survey was sent out after the 2018 festival. On the basis of this survey, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions: you can find the answers to these below. We also read the other comments, and we will be discussing each of these internally before the next edition of the festival. If you have a burning question and you can’t find the answer below, you can mail us at:


Our programmer visits various film festivals in the Netherlands and abroad and watches a lot of films, for example on FestivalScope (a streaming service for film professionals) and using screening links sent out by film institutes, producers, sales agents and distributors. The films are selected on the basis of their surprising and impressive aesthetic and filmic qualities, as well as on the basis of concrete criteria such as geographical origin or themes. A wide-ranging selection is made of films that are appropriate to the Northern Focus and the Noordelijk Film Festival’s other programme sections. In addition, we are constantly looking for a good balance to ensure that there is always an appropriate selection for the various target groups. For the regional programme section Noorderkroon, we select on the basis of submissions.

There are all kinds of considerations we make when placing a film in a larger or smaller cinema at a particular time of day. This depends in part on the film itself, the film’s language/subtitles and any pricing agreement with the distributor or sales agent. We want to show a large number of films, and every year we try to achieve the best possible spread of screenings over the festival days and screens. It is very difficult to work out this puzzle so that it’s perfect for everyone. But you can be sure there is always a good reason for showing a film in a smaller cinema.

The Noordelijk Film Festival programmes a unique, exceptional programme featuring many new films and films from parts of the world that are not often seen in the Netherlands. We like to stand out, both from other film festivals and from the regular programming in Dutch cinemas and (arthouse) theatres. This means we select a lot of international films that are not picked up by Dutch distributors for screening in Dutch cinemas and (arthouse) theatres – this also means that these have not been given Dutch subtitles. Around the world, a lot of good films get made that slip under the radar here in the Netherlands. We give a platform to a selection of these by bringing these films to Leeuwarden specially for the festival. This gives you as a festival visitor a unique opportunity to see films you otherwise probably wouldn’t come into contact with. This does mean that many films we show at the Noordelijk Film Festival are subtitled in English. We would love to have all these films subtitled in Dutch but we just can’t: it’s too expensive. In 2018, it was possible to have a few films subtitled and so increase the number of films on offer with Dutch subtitles. Alongside the international films we import, we fill up our programme with suitable films from Dutch distributors that do have Dutch subtitles, as well as films made in our own region.

Because the festival has chosen to specialise in and present itself as a film festival with a broad Northern European focus. The biggest programme sections (Northern Focus and Noorderkroon) consist of films from this region. This is how the festival sets itself apart from other festivals in the Netherlands, and this gives the festival its unique value.

We have chosen to focus on the North because of our own geographical location in the Netherlands and Europe. Through this focus on a broad Northern Europe, we are able to stand out from other film festivals in the Netherlands. This allows us to mainly show films that are different from what is on offer at other festivals. We want to hold on to this Northern Focus that sets us apart. But in each edition we also offer a smaller selection of films from other countries. Also, a varied programme of films from all over the world can be seen in Slieker all year round, every day of the week.

Yes, you can. We even have a whole programme dedicated to these: Noorderkroon. Noorderkroon is the platform and competition for professional, student and amateur films from makers based in Friesland, Groningen or Drenthe, or for films about this region. This programme shows both short and feature-length local films.

A number of films will usually be screened in Slieker immediately after the festival, or included in the programme later. This depends on whether the film is picked up by a Dutch distributor or not, and also on the space available in Slieker’s programming (after all, great new films are released every week). The Dutch distributor makes sure that films get seen in the cinemas and (arthouse) theatres in the Netherlands.

Online programme

From the programme lines Northern Focus, EcoCinema and Specials, a special selection has been made for our online programme. You can find these films here.

If you have bought tickets for a film from our online film selection, you will be sent an e-mail containing a link. You can watch the film throughout the festival, from Wednesday 10 November 20:00 until Sunday 14 November 23:59.

No, this is not possible. The person can, of course, buy a ticket for the online film screening, but the link sent to you can only be used once.

The best option for playing an online NFF film is a (recent) PC or laptop. Playing from mobile devices (phones or tablets) is also possible, but can sometimes cause problems. Especially with older models. In addition, there is no app available (not even for smart TVs) and you always play the film via a web browser. And that is simply more pleasant on a computer than on a mobile device.

Of course you can! The player experiences the least problems when you watch on the screen of the same device you are playing from, but pairing or casting is certainly possible. If you want to watch on a different device than the one you are playing from (for example, your television), then you must establish a connection between the two devices. This can be done with a cable, or by casting with Chromecast or Apple AirPlay. Playing from a smart TV is potentially possible (depending on which TV you have), but there is no app for that. You have to open and log in to our streaming service on your TV.

The NFF player works best in Google Chrome. If you prefer not to use Google, we recommend Firefox or Microsoft Edge as a second option. There is no app available, so you always have to play from a web browser.

Check your internet connection and any software updates in advance. To check whether your internet connection is sufficient, you can carry out a so-called speed test. There are many providers of free speed tests online. A download speed of 15 Mbps (Megabits per second) should already be more than sufficient to watch a film. However, the quality of your internet connection can fluctuate from one moment to the next. Do you want certainty? Connecting your device to your modem with a cable is usually more stable than wifi.

Check all your devices and your web browser for updates and run them before you watch. Non-updated software is one of the most common problems with online festival viewing, which we cannot solve for you remotely.

Yes, that is correct. When you open the player, the sound is turned off by default. You have to turn it on yourself.

The player automatically selects a picture quality. You can adjust this by choosing a higher or lower resolution in the player. Higher is in principle better, but requires more download speed to play smoothly (a better Internet connection). 1080p is equivalent to ‘HD’ (high definition). If you adjust this, it may take 30 seconds or so before you see the difference.

Note that what you see in the end depends not only on the NFF player, but also on the equipment you use for playback and even on the cable you might use to connect an external screen (display) to your computer.

An on demand programme consists of a playlist with several parts. Think of the film itself, but also of the introduction clips, the Q&A and the interview. You can make choices within this playlist, but you cannot fast forward or rewind or ‘scroll through the image’ as with some streaming services.


The festival pass was discontinued in 2014 because it no longer worked to the satisfaction of all users. One of the reasons for this is the difference in capacity of the De Harmonie and Slieker screening venues. You can buy discounted tickets with a discount pass or a multi-ticket.

We did not do this in 2018 because all friends received an email with this information. In order not to make it unnecessarily complicated for visitors who are not friends, it was not included on the website. We will do this for the next edition to prevent friends from missing the e-mail and not being aware of the discounted discount card, and of course to make people aware of the friend pass.

The tickets for the opening evening are a little more expensive than a normal film because you get more for this ticket: a free cloakroom, snacks and a drink before the film, as well as an act.

Every year there’s a ‘swap pillar’ next to the box office in De Harmonie. Here, you can offer tickets you want to swap with other visitors.

Programme book

This year, we are doing everything just a little differently, in line with our theme ‘different, but familiar’. In addition, we are working with our programme line EcoCinema to make the Noordelijk Film Festival more sustainable.  One of the actions we are taking to make the festival more sustainable is to limit the amount of printed material we use. This includes the programme booklet and the timetable, of course. Fortunately, you can always view the programme online, and the festival time schedule can be downloaded as a .pdf file! You can read more about EcoCinema here.

You can only view the programme online, the time schedule can also be downloaded as a .pdf. If you find it useful, you can print it out at home.

Usually, these are based on the texts delivered with the film by the producers or sales agents. We get these translated, shorten or edit them if we think it’s needed. They are always checked by the programmer who has seen the film. But of course it’s always a subjective view, so it can always be different from how someone else experiences the film.

Practical info

We are not able to publish the whole list on the monitors, but we are looking at how we can update the audience scores on the website more frequently from next edition. This didn’t go quite as it should have in 2018.

There is a secure bike park on Wilhelminaplein providing free bike parking for up to 7 days, free of charge. Check the opening times though.

There are two car parks close to the festival locations: Parkeergarage Zaailand and Parkeergarage Oldehove. Both are within walking distance of the festival.


Voting slips ranked 1 to 5 are usual in the film and festival worlds. Films are usually ranked using 1 to 5 stars.

We serve a limited menu in De Harmonie so that visitors can eat quickly between films. If you want more choice, there are lots of options in other restaurants outside of De Harmonie. Each year we make special festival deals with various cafés and restaurants – information on these can be found in the programme book.

No, this is not available online.

To add to the festival atmosphere in the foyer, we work with live bands – generally only in the evenings between the last two films and sometimes at the weekend between two films in the afternoon. The volume is regularly adjusted, but there is a lower limit.

The festival would not be possible without the large group of volunteers who help us every year. The volunteers have a range of jobs: helping audiences, staffing the box office and the info desk, projecting the films, building the venues and hosting at the volunteer catering. Would you like to work at the festival as a volunteer? Then keep an eye on our website around September.

You can use the discount of this special deal between Hotel Via Via and Noordelijk Film Festival using this link.