Today, in the context of the Venice Days section (Giornate degli Autori) of the Venice International Film Festival, the European Parliament unveiled the three contending films for the LUX Prize 2011, all of which will have screenings during the upcoming Venice Film Festival, with the directors in attendance:
- Attenberg by Athina Rachel Tsangari (Greece),
- Les neiges du Kilimandjaro by Robert Guédiguian (France) and
- Play by Ruben Östlund (Sweden, France, Denmark).
As part of the ongoing partnership with Venice Days/Giornate degli Autori, the European Parliament is proud to present three feature films that examine sensitive European issues with originality and sensitivity. The films in Competition for the LUX Prize 2011 bring a fresh insight into themes in the best tradition of previous editions of the LUX Prize: integration and youngsters, economic crisis and solidarity, familial and cultural relations, the rules under which we live and the rules that drive our hearts.
“A tender but deadpan anthropological black comedy… it’s an imaginative curio of animal gestures whose emotional power creeps up on you.” - Nick James
Athina Rachel Tsangari, director of Attenberg:
“Marina is left with nothing, in the end of Attenberg. So, in a way, she is set free. She is free to start all over again, from nothing. I wrote Attenberg during the first riots in Athens, in December 2008. Unconsciously, some of the desperation, alienation and sense of betrayal that had poured out in the streets, snuck into the film. Three years later, in the midst of my country's controversial collapse within the European Union, it is a big surprise and a great honor to be nominated for the LUX prize. I think now, more than ever, making cinema in Greece goes beyond making art. It is an act of political, social, and moral survival.”
Les neiges du Kilimandjaro
“It is a deeply moving human drama, loosly inspired by Victor Hugo poem, and directed by French master Robert Guediguian. A cinema full of passion and very much aware of contemporary social issues.” - Jakub Duszynski
Robert Guédiguian, director of Les neiges du Kilimandjaro:
“In my eyes, one of the most serious issues in today’s society is there is no longer any class consciousness. In the sense that you can no longer even say “working class”; this is why I speak about “poor people ”. Yet, the actual awareness of being “poor people,” doesn’t exist. […] There aren’t two types of populations, one being a native, employed, unionized home owner... and the other being an unemployed immigrant, delinquent, from inner cities or poor suburbs. Politics and cinema can work to unmask this intellectual deception – and my mind will never be changed on this question: therein lies the essential.”
“Intelligently observed game of mindsets in black and white dispositions. Youngsters in Sweden being manipulatively robbed of their mobile phones and wallets by the gang of other youths.” - Mira Staleva
Ruben Östlund, director of Play:
“Play deals with the type of events currently taking place throughout Europe. Events that we have difficulty processing and thus tend to avoid. One reaction I’ve often encountered is when journalists assure me that they understand what Play is all about, but they’re afraid others may misinterpret the film. Shying away from the controversial aspects of events like these, either out of fear or kind-hearted concern, will only preserve and possibly fortify the fundamental problem. The LUX Prize nomination, which involves screening this film for the Members of the European Parliament, is a truly significant development. Hopefully their reaction to Play will pose a problem and prompt them to rise to that challenge.”
Established in 2007 the LUX Prize is a tangible symbol of the European Parliament’s commitment to the European film industry. The LUX Prize supports European cinema in the deep conviction that, as a mass cultural medium, it is an emotional and powerful vehicle for sparking debate and reflection on Europe, its values and its future.
Every year, a panel appointed by the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, determines the LUX Prize Official Selection and the Competition. The LUX Prize 2011 Official Selection was unveiled at the 46th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on 3 July 2011.
The LUX Prize focuses on distribution by covering the cost of subtitling the winning film into the 23 official languages of the European Union (EU), including the adaptation of the original version for hearing or visually-impaired people, and supplying a digital cinema package or a 35 mm print in the 27 EU’s member states.
The LUX Prize winners have been Auf der anderen Seite by Fatih Akin (2007), Le silence de Lornaby Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (2008), Welcome by Philippe Lioret (2009) and Die Fremde by Feo Aladag (2010).
LUX Prize 2011 forthcoming important dates and events:
- 31/08-10/09: Screening of the three competing films at the Venice Days
- 11/10-10/11: Screening of the three competing films within the European Parliament’s premises and vote by the Members of the European Parliament
- 16/11: Unveiling of the LUX Prize 2011 winner (Strasbourg, award ceremony).