Today, at the Venice Days press conference, the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the President of the Committee on Culture and Education, Silvia Costa, announced the three films selected to contend for the 2015 LUX Film Prize: Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano (Italy, United States, Germany, France, Qatar), Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven (France, Germany, Turkey, Qatar), and Urok (The Lesson) by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (Bulgaria, Greece).
Once again, the three competing films will tour from Venice to all 28 EU member states between October and December. The programme crosses geographical and language barriers to reach audiences across Europe, featuring subtitles in all 24 official EU languages at screenings in dozens of cities and festivals.
The Official Competition this year will consist of three debut features by four very promising directors who have addressed relevant topical issues in Europe while demonstrating exceptional cinematic skill. Carpignano's feature debut assesses the very fragile and topical issue of Mediterranean crossings by immigrants seeking freedom and safety. Meanwhile, Deniz Gamze Ergüven presents a story about the imprisonment of young girls by a society under the thumb of men still very much under the influence of local traditions. Finally, Grozeva and Valchanov turn their gaze towards a school environment, looking into how economic adversity can shatter a comfortable existence.
Based on a vote by the Members of the European Parliament, one of these three finalists will, on 25 November, be awarded with the ninth edition of the LUX Prize. The winning film will then be adapted for the visually and hearing-impaired, and it will receive promotional support during its international release.
This year’s LUX Prize takes on particular significance owing to the current debate regarding the Digital Single Market initiative and the impending copyright reform. In its ability to transcend national borders and language differences, the LUX Prize competition stands as a testament to the unity of European cinema.
This year will also see the sixth edition of 28 Times Cinema take place – another fruitful outcome of the partnership between the European Parliament’s LUX Film Prize and the Venice Days. Thanks to the crucial collaboration with Europa Cinemas and Cineuropa, 28 young cinephiles aged 18 to 26 will get the chance to act as the jury for the Venice Days Award. Additionally, the group will watch the three Official Competition films and meet their respective directors. Later, participants may serve as LUX Film Prize "ambassadors" by presenting the LUX Film Days in their respective countries. The 28 Times Cinema programme unites film professionals and audiences in order to enhance European cultural and cinematic awareness and diversity.
Viewers from all around Europe will also have a chance to participate by voting for one of the three films in competition. The winner will receive the Audience Mention Award for the 2015 LUX Film Prize. Additionally, one of the voters will be chosen at random and rewarded with an invitation to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2016 to personally announce the Audience Mention winner
The previous LUX Film Prize winners have been Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski (2014), The Broken Circle Breakdown by Felix van Groeningen (2013), Shun Li and the Poet by Andrea Segre (2012), The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Robert Guédiguian (2011), When We Leave by Feo Aladag (2010), Welcome by Philippe Lioret (2009), Lorna's Silence by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (2008), and The Edge of Heaven by Fatih Akin (2007).