Les neiges du Kilimandjaro wins 2011 LUX Film Prize

2011 LUX Film Prize

The winner of the 2011 LUX film Prize is "Les neiges du Kilimandjaro" by Robert Guédiguian. Parliament's President Jerzy Buzek today presented the prize to the French producer at a formal ceremony in its Strasbourg plenary chamber. The film questions the injustices of today's societies and their political and trade union conflicts, and makes a plea for tolerance.
 
The other two finalists were "Attenberg" (Greece) by Athina Rachel Tsangari and "Play" (Sweden-France-Denmark) by Ruben Östlund.
 
Presenting the prize, Parliament's President Buzek said "The European Parliament's LUX film prize serves as a reminder that what unites us is stronger than what divides us. It reminds us that the values, freedoms and indeed self-criticisms we share, are worth fighting for. It also reminds us that European movies have nothing to envy non-European productions."
 
At the ceremony, the film's producer said on behalf of Robert Guédiguian: "The values of Europe are, for me, linked to the idea of the Republic - this Republic which Jean Jaurès, under whose auspices my film is placed, called a 'social Republic': liberty, equality and fraternity are qualities that Europe also owes it to itself to defend [....] Please do not abandon the poor people of Victor Hugo, a symbolic figurehead of both film and Europe, in the 'icy waters of egotistical calculation'."
 
The European Parliament's LUX prize is awarded each year to films illustrating values that constitute European identity, the diversity of cultures in Europe or debate on the European Union integration process.
 
The €90,000 prize money will pay to sub-title the winning film in the EU's 23 official languages, adapting the original for people with visual or hearing handicaps, and the cinema launch or production, in each Member State, of a 35mm or digital copy.
 
Since its creation in 2007, the LUX Prize has gone to "Auf der anderen Seite" by Fatih Akin (2007), "Le Silence de Lorna" by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (2008), "Welcome" by Philippe Lioret (2009) and "Die Fremde" (Allemagne) by Feo Aladag.
 
Parliament's support for European cinema includes specific legislation to promote the diversity of, and access to, cinematographic works. Today MEPs voted an own-initiative report by MEP Piotr Borys (EPP, PL), on cinema in the digital era, which calls for instruments and adequate funding to help film producers and distributors, and particularly small independent cinemas, to survive the switch to digital projection.
 
A press release on this report will be available here.
Watch pictures of the ceremony here.