Programme elements

The Noordelijk Film Festival is distinguished by a unique international programme with a focus on the North. The festival offers a broad programme beyond film. On this page, you will find all information about the programme components in 2023.

Nordic Focus

Every year, we fly out from Friesland to the North’s most beautiful cinematic settings: from Iceland, through Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands to the Scandinavian countries and the Baltics. Northern Focus is the main programme of the Northern Film Festival, offering a strong selection of the latest international feature films and documentaries from this great northern region. Many films are specially imported from abroad and cannot (yet) be seen in Dutch cinemas and film theatres. This is also the reason why many films are subtitled in English.

Within the programme you will find a unique mix of feature films; from absurd, black or light-hearted comedy to historical, psychological or social drama, from a-typical action or crime thriller to arthouse, mystery and film noir. With the documentaries, we also present a nice picture of the cultural diversity within our broad Northern Europe. Be surprised, amazed and moved. Go on an adventure and discover films you would otherwise never see!


The Northern European selection of the main programme shares the screen with promising and professional films of all shapes and sizes from its own region. With the Noorderkroon programme, we provide a stage and stepping stone for professional filmmakers, up-and-coming talents, students and even amateur filmmakers, through the screenings and competition where the Noorderkroon Awards are distributed. You can find the 2022 winners here.

The films in this programme were all made by directors or producers living in or from Friesland, Groningen or Drenthe. It may also be that the story is set in one of these provinces. In any case, there is a strong connection to our own regional north. Lots of films in this selection will also have their premiere at the festival and makers will often be present for a Q&A!


Every year, the Noordelijk Film Festival puts the spotlight on a director, actor or actress who has more than earned his or her spurs. We’re still keeping secret who that is this year, but keep in mind a wistful creator from Scandinavia who, despite, or perhaps because of, that character, makes gorily melancholic films that appeal to a large fan base.

Sounds & Cinema

This year, there is extra sparkle in the Noordelijk Film Festival. With the Sounds & Cinema programme, we present brilliant music documentaries and the occasional feature film where music plays a major role. Get carried away by the sounds of the arctic, the melancholy in Moluccan songs or the New York jazzy sound of a contemporary Danish composer. Of course, the film screening of a silent classic with live music is not missing this year either.

Filmzaal gevuld met mensen

Films in the Memmetal

The majority of our visitors do understand Frysk. But what about Basque, Sami, Nauvhal, Kannada or Marathi? This year, the Noordelijk Film Festival presents a programme of films from so-called small language areas. The memmetal as an important expression of a (cultural) identity is something we know how to do in Friesland. But then how come so few films are made entirely in Frisian? Around that theme, we will organise a panel discussion with filmmakers and policymakers.

Dutch Quirky

The Netherlands is bursting with directors who have developed their own (meaningful) voice with work that is innovative and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, the films of these forward-thinking filmmakers with their short cinema run often end up falling by the wayside in the packed weekly schedule of movie houses. The Noordelijk Film Festival once again highlights a select group of Dutch filmmakers, offering adventurous film lovers in the North the chance to get to know work that excites with its content and in its form. Several directors will be present for a Q&A after the screening.

Human Nature

The Noordelijk Film Festival aims to organise a greener film festival and inform and inspire audiences with new insights. The in-depth programme Human Nature (formerly EcoCinema) underlines this intention with a selection of interesting documentaries and beautiful nature films. With these films, we offer enriching insights into topics such as climate change or how to treat the earth more sustainably and better. Some of these films also include introductions or Q&As.

Film en food Noordelijk Film Festival fine dining


Our specials programme consists of a number of special events that are slightly different from ‘just film’. Many of these film screenings are organised in collaboration with other parties. How about a special archive programme in collaboration with the Fries Film and Audio Archive, a Film & Food special with delicious dishes by ROAST or this year’s smash hit: a secret cinema at a secret location!


Millennium, Wallander, Borgen, The Killing, The Bridge; these are a handful of titles from a seemingly inexhaustible source of Scandinavian inspiration. Time and again, Danish and Swedish television productions in particular manage to capture audiences en masse. For the third year in a row, the Noordelijk Film Festival will introduce a brand new series and screen the first two episodes of it.


The Northern Film Festival is fun for young and old alike. Our special Junior programme offers a diverse range of children’s films in line with our Nordic Focus. The latest children’s films from northern Europe. All (in)spoken in Dutch, so nicely accessible for the whole family! On Sunday morning, there is even a delicious family brunch with film (see Film & Food Specials).

Man geeft presentatie aan schoolklas in een filmzaal

School performances

Through school screenings, more than two thousand primary and secondary school students are introduced to fine northern children’s films and the film festival. We collaborate with Schoolkade’s arts menu, but also invite all other schools in the province. A suitable film has been selected for each age group and free teaching materials are offered with each film, which are specially developed to accompany the films. More information on school screenings and film education can be found here.