Ken Loach stars at the LUX Prize 10th anniversary celebration

Ken Loach

On 10 October, the European Parliament’s LUX Prize celebrated its tenth anniversary in Brussels. A series of events, which were attended by MEPs, key figures on the European cinema scene, directors of films honoured by the LUX Prize, journalists and European film buffs, commemorated this special date.

After a moment of general mourning for the death of Polish director Andrzej Wajda the day before, the afternoon began with the “What Role for European Cinema in Tomorrow’s Europe?” discussion, a streamed exchange of views, in which Ken Loach was the undisputed star. This served as a reflection on the LUX Prize and its success when accounting for the spread of European cinema, surpassing the language barrier. The celebrated British director, a two-time winner of the Palme d’Or, had some tough words about Brexit, which he considered a “recoil” and proposed to deal "with an ethical code that builds bridges between cultures against those who raise up walls". That’s why he commended the relevance of events such as the LUX Prize for “creating and sharing light between the peoples in Europe”. He defended a united and easily interlinked Europe that could stand up to face colonisation “mainly from the US”.

The Committee on Culture and Education hosted this first event, and its chairwoman, Silvia Costa, introduced the speakers, which included the LUX Film Prize-selected directors Céline Sciamma (Girlhood, 2014 LUX Prize finalist, and screenwriter of Claude BarrasMy Life as a Courgette, 2016 LUX Prize finalist) and Andrea Segre (Shun Li and the Poet, 2012 LUX Prize winner), moderated by LUX Film Prize coordinator Doris Pack. The participants discussed the European agenda on cultural policies, the need to rescue the social justice values from the original European Union, and the difficulties filmmakers go through in Europe in trying to make their films succeed, as well as the reduction of measures that let cinema cross borders, such as the LUX Prize.

It was followed by the inauguration of an exhibition at the Brussels’ Parlamentarium opened by the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and Silvia Costa. Tajani highlighted that the LUX Prize aim was to “bring films from Europe to Europeans”. It overturned into the first ten years of the LUX Prize. Snapshots and screenings of Selected and victorious films and best LUX Prize moments were displayed in this exhibition, which will remain open until 29 January.

The celebration closed with the unique simultaneous screening of 2015 LUX Prize winner Mustang by Deniz Gamze Erguven, which started at 8:15pm in different theatres within the Europa Cinemas network around the European Union’s 28 member states. After the enormous success of the first simultaneous screening, that of Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea, that the LUX Prize held last year (read the news), yesterday was Erguven’s time to show her feature film to European audiences. A streamed Q&A and live Twitter feed took place after the screening. Silvia Costa remarked the beauty of this last activity, which “created a temporary European public sphere” with the screening of the same film simultaneously in different countries.

By Cineuropa


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