LISTEN AND HEAR is a new slogan of the 6th Nordic-Baltic Film Festival “Northern Lights”, which will be held online this year from 22 to 29 October.

Team of “Northern Lights” started working on the visual concept of the festival. Filming will be held from October 22 to October 29 in Minsk. “Northern Lights” team traditionally does the full production on its own. The following people will participate in the filming: an enthusiast of the initiative group “March, baby!” Svetlana Gatalskaya, creative director and writer Vera Filenko together with her daughter and mother, as well as other participants. This year's visual concept of “Northern Lights” lets the audience get a better understanding of such topics as empathy, intimacy, continuity of generations, breaking down of old behaviour models.

Every year, “Northern Lights” unites its program with a thematic motto. This is the key message of the festival to its viewers and all the citizens of our planet. LISTEN AND HEAR is a motto of “Northern Lights-2020” urging us to listen to each other.

About 28 films in the main program of the festival will touch various difficult topics which we sometimes do not want to hear. The festival team in its turn calls you to express empathy and take care of yourself, loved ones and others around. We want to focus on the importance of not only listening, but also “hearing”. We want to show that empathy is not about weakness, it is about mutual respect and help.

How often do you really hear what you are listening to? Hear is an exceptional ability, as in the bustle of modern life there is neither time nor energy nor resources to hear the most important things. Therefore, it’s hard to find empathy and sympathy when a person does not listen to himself, loved ones and his environment, while to sympathize and help becomes an impossible mission. However, hearing and listening to each other is what will rescue us.

Volia Chajkouskaya, founder and director of the “Northern Lights” Film Festival:

“This year "Northern Lights" suggests to stop at least at the festival week and set aside some time to listen to and pay attention to women rights, campaigns against domestic violence and its horrible consequences, environmental problems and climate change, eco-friendly culture and recycling.

When I was a child, my mother asked me what I wanted to do when I would grow up. I said that I wanted to become a peacemaker. And everything that I’m doing, also within “Northern Lights”, is somehow connected with the way to express empathy and show warmth. Maybe I have a pretty naive belief that this is the main qualities, and if people will stick to them — no war, disrespect for the weak, violence, neglect to the environment will take place. Listen to it, try to hear, leave the comfort bubble. We always have a choice of what to think and how to live.”

You can read the full version of the “Listen and hear” manifesto of the “Northern Lights” Film Festival on the website.

The festival will feature 28 films, including 15 international ones, 8 documentaries from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, 5 shorts from Sweden for the first time and 8 films in the full program of Belarusian cinema! In addition, the industrial platform «Northern Lights» will host 7 industrial events that will be broadcast in the social networks of the festival.

Translated from Belarusian by: Ksenia Martinchick

Main supporters: Nordisk KulturFond (Denmark), Nordic Council of Ministers Office (Denmark). 
Co-organizers: Norwegian Embassy in Kiev, Danish Cultural Institute in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Current Time TV
General partners: Finnish Liaison Office in Belarus, Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden in Belarus, Embassy of Estonia in Belarus, Embassy of Lithuania in Belarus,  Embassy of Latvia in Belarus,  Icelandic Film Centre, Finnish Film Foundation, Estonian Film Institute, Norwegian Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Danish Film Institute, Lithuanian Film Centre, National Film Centre of Latvia, B2B DOC - Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network.
Partners: DoubleTree by Hilton Minsk Hotel, official distributor of Mazda in Belarus, Taxi 5, art-group «Sinie Gory», FirstRental rental house, “Svobody 4” bar, “Zerno” coffee shop,,,