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The 41st edition of the Noordelijk Film Festival is different, but familiar

After a festive anniversary year in 2019, we, sadly, had to do without one year in 2020. This year, the Noordelijk Film Festival, fortunately, returns in a hybrid form which means that you can enjoy the festival mainly offline but also online. An atmospheric film festival as you are used to from us, but in a new guise. During the five festival days in which film is celebrated to the fullest, everything revolves around the theme different, but familiar.

Just a bit different

In 2020, things took a slightly different turn when the Coronavirus threw a spanner in the works. What should have been the 41st edition of the Noordelijk Film Festival had to be postponed for a year. That is why the film festival will now be celebrated in its entirety in 2021 while of course taking into account what is and is not allowed. After all, in a year in which everything has changed so much, it was impossible to stand still. The theme of this 41st edition is therefore different, but familiar. From 10 to 14 November, you can enjoy our well-known extraordinary festival atmosphere and a film selection with a familiar Nordic focus at a hybrid festival, where we expect the unexpected and pay attention to the sustainability of the Noordelijk Film Festival.

About the festival

The Noordelijk Film Festival is a film festival in Leeuwarden that generally takes place around the second weekend of November every year. With around 20 to 25 thousand visitors counted over five days, the festival is one of the largest regional film festivals in the Netherlands. In 2019 it celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special longer edition. From 1976 to 1988, the first ten editions took place under the name Fries Film Festival. Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie has served as the festival centre for almost all years. Additionally, film theatre Slieker Film (in the Fries Museum) is one of our festival locations. This year, we are also moving into the province with a programme that includes De Lawei in Drachten and De Koornbeurs in Franeker. Closer to home, we are adding one more location: for the first time (and the last time), we are screening at Pathé Tivoli..

Face The North!

The festival distinguishes itself from other festivals with its unique international and local Northern Focus. It is an extensive film expedition across a wide Northern Europe: from Iceland, through Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to the Nordic countries and the Baltic States. A strong selection of the latest international feature films and documentaries from this great northern region will share the screen with promising films from our own region. With its Noorderkroon programme, the Noordelijk Film Festival offers a platform and springboard for professional talents, students and even amateur filmmakers, through screenings, competitions and talks.


The Noordelijk Film Festival has set itself the goal to reduce its own footprint where possible and to organise a greener film festival. The festival also wants to inform and inspire its audience with new insights. The green and sustainable intentions are therefore also underlined with a new in-depth programme line called EcoCinema. This programme shows important films that offer enriching insights into topics such as climate change, pollution, and a more sustainable and better use of the earth. Wherever possible, these films are combined with introductions or debates with local partners who can provide the necessary context.

Side programme and specials

Besides the Northern Focus, there are various side programmes, with a number of new additions this year. Familiar programme elements such as The 48 Hour Film Project, live music, various film & food events, and school screenings return. In addition, there will be a film quiz this year, you can attend the premiere of a new Norwegian series and the festival will also feature a space for a special film installation.

Welcome to Friesland!

The Noordelijk Film Festival takes place in the heart of Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland (or Fryslân in ‘t Fries) and cultural capital of Europe in 2018. Visitors and guests from home and abroad praise the festival for its programming, hospitality, and great atmosphere. Come and experience it for yourself!