The 10 films in the 2017 LUX FILM PRIZE Official Selection revealed today at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Lux Film Prize 2017 Official Selection banner

The 10 films, which appealed to the tastes of the LUX FILM PRIZE Selection Panel, shine a spotlight on the diversity of European cinema and its importance in building social and cultural values.

After last year’s successful edition, which marked the 10th anniversary of the initiative, the LUX FILM PRIZE continues embracing an unpredictable variety of genres and tones from all over Europe.

The LUX FILM PRIZE Official Selection (in alphabetical order)

A CIAMBRA by Jonas Carpignano (Italy/Brazil/United States/France/Germany/Sweden)
BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE) by Robin Campillo (France)
GLORY by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (Bulgaria/Greece)
HEARTSTONE by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson (Iceland/Denmark)
KING OF THE BELGIANS by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth (Belgium/Netherlands/Bulgaria)
SÁMI BLOOD by Amanda Kernell (Sweden/Denmark/Norway)
SUMMER 1993 by Carla Simón (Spain)
THE LAST FAMILY by Jan P Matuszyński (Poland)
THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE by Aki Kaurismäki (Finland/Germany)
WESTERN by Valeska Grisebach (Germany/Bulgaria/Austria)

More about the 10 films...

Three thematic focuses can be identified from the films in the selection, which perfectly mirror what Europe and Europeans are going through at the moment.

A batch of coming-of-age stories, about young characters opening their eyes to what surrounds them in order to understand reality and the societies and communities they belong to, stand out in the official selection.

SUMMER 1993 is an intimate, autobiographical study of how hard it can be to fit in; it portrays a child’s experience of learning to live with grief and harsh reality after she finds herself orphaned at just six years old.

HEARTSTONE tells the story of two teenagers from rural Iceland getting to grips with their own identity and sexuality, as well as with the delicate and cruel transition to adulthood.

A CIAMBRA traces the rite of passage to adulthood of a 14-year-old Roma boy living in the neighbourhood of the same name in Calabria, a marginalised community described by journalists as a real ghetto.

SÁMI BLOOD tells the vibrant tale of a young Lapp girl who dreams of a different life and distances herself from her community with great anguish because of the racist attitudes they have to face.

Communities – or, rather, the global community – are also the focus of another selection of socially engaged films that tackle timely topics in both heartfelt and intelligent ways, with touches of genre and even comedy.

BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE) follows a group of Act Up activists who fight to lend the AIDS problem more visibility in 1992 France and encourage faster progress to be made in terms of research and prevention.

WESTERN injects a story about German workers on a construction site for a hydroelectric power station in Bulgaria with ingredients from the cowboys-and-Indians classics, addressing the issues of economic immigration and integration.

THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE weaves together the stories of two men who have both struck out in search of a new life: an old Finnish man who buys a restaurant and a young Syrian immigrant who struggles to find a safe haven in Europe.

GLORY follows a poor, middle-aged linesman for Bulgaria’s national railway company, who decides to hand piles of banknotes he finds on the rails one day in to the police, triggering a fight against corruption, as well as one for justice and dignity.

The last group of movies addresses the current post-truth era that we live in, partly defined by information overload and continuous communication, as well as social and political extremisms, bordering on the absurd. Two of the films are absolutely crucial in portraying this modern socio-political absurdity.

THE LAST FAMILY shows the lives of the family of Polish painter Zdzisław Beksiński, in what could be described as a compact version of a 28-year reality show, as he recorded most of his day-to-day life.

KING OF THE BELGIANS follows a fictitious King of Belgium forced to come back from an official trip when Wallonia suddenly declares its independence, while a solar storm causes communications to collapse and airspace to shut down.

TRIVIA:

5 female directors: Kristina Grozeva, Jessica Woodworth, Amanda Kernell, Carla Simón, Valeska Grisebach   

4 first features: Sámi Blood, Summer 1993, The Last Family, Heartstone

 

The Official Selection was revealed by Helga Trüpel, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education, Martina Dlabajova, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control, Bogdan Wenta, Member of the  Committee on Culture and Education and Doris Pack, LUX FILM PRIZE Coordinator.

The Audience Mention goes to TONI ERDMANN by Maren Ade

Today, the film from the 2016 LUX Film Prize Competition that received the highest number of votes from audiences across Europe was also announced – the acclaimed LUX PRIZE winner TONI ERDMANN by Maren Ade. Voter Nora Perrin from France was randomly selected from among all the participants and invited to the Karlovy Vary Film Festival to announce the Mention.

The LUX Film Prize Competition and the LUX Film Days

From the 10 films in the Official Selection, 3 entries will be selected and announced at the Venice Days press conference in Rome at the end of July 2017 as those taking part in the LUX Film Prize Competition. These films will compete to be the winner of the 2017 LUX Film Prize, and will become the core of the 2017 LUX Film Days.

In order to support the European film industry and help the most significant European (co-)productions to circulate beyond their national market, the European Parliament LUX Film Prize subtitles the 3 competing films into the 24 official languages of the European Union and screens them in all 28 EU countries during the LUX Film Days. In doing so, the European Parliament supports cultural diversity, as it brings films to audiences across Europe and encourages debate on the issues they raise.

The 2017 LUX Film Prize winner will be awarded on 15 November in Strasbourg. The winning film will also be made available for the visually and hearing-impaired, and promoted by the European Parliament.