LUX Film Days 2018: Reports on Simultaneous Screenings

Astor Cinema

For the seventh consecutive year, the LUX Film Prize of the European Parliament travels around Europe thanks to the LUX Film Days. Since 15th October, the three finalists are being screened in different venues across the 28 Member States. Simultaneous screenings of the competing titles covering over 15 countries took place on 6, 7 and 8 November, followed by a live streamed Q&A with the three directors. The LUX Prize in partnership with Creative Europe and Europa Cinemas organized this unique action across Europe.

Dimosthenis Kontes, 28 Times Cinema member and LUX Ambassador in Greece, took part in all the simultaneous screenings hosted in Athens -with other events being held during the Thessaloniki Film Festival. On 6 and 7 November, The Other Side of Everything by Mila Turajlić and Woman at War by Benedikt Erlingsson (2018 LUX Film Prize Winner) were respectively screened at the Andora Cinema, gathering a modest amount of local filmgoers. On 8 November, the screening of Styx by Wolfgang Fischer was hosted by the Astor Cinema in Athens, with record numbers of attendance. Kontes was in charge of introducing the events in both venues, where he reported a “satisfying outcome” for the overall experience. Meanwhile, the Rialto Theatre in Limassol (“a long-standing champion of all cultural activities in the city”) was able to host the first simultaneous screening of a LUX Prize finalist in Cyprus since the inception of the LUX Film Days in 2012, as explained by Diego Aparicio, LUX Ambassador and Cypriot member of the 28 Times Cinema. Close to 200 seats were filled in the auditorium, and many members of the audience stayed for the streamed Q&A with director. “The audience embraced this event as an opportunity to get a fresh taste of cinema, in a city where arthouse treasures hardly ever make it to the big screen”, says Aparicio.

On the same date, Cinéma ABC in Toulouse hosted another screening of Styx in the presence of Julie Lavigne, French representative of the 28 Times Cinema and LUX Ambassador in the country. She briefly introduced the event accompanied by Marc Van Maele, director of the theatre, explaining her role as an ambassador for the LUX Prize to an audience of around 60 people. After the screening, most of the attendants stayed for a Q&A that lasted for half an hour, where people discuss about the film’s crucial topic and its importance for the future of Europe. In Porto (Portugal), Cinema Trindade hosted around seventy people for the same event. LUX Prize ambassador Camila Lobo presented the film and introduced the initiative in front of a deeply engaged audience that actively praised the film after the screening. Most of them stayed for the Q&A, posting questions and comments regarding the film’s quality and sensibility. Slovenian audiences could also enjoy the screening of Styx as part of the Ljubljana International Film Festival in the presence of Luka Benedicic, 28 Times Cinema member and ambassador in Slovenia, where the film “captivated and left the audience seated even after the end of the film."

As for the events in northern Europe, Nicolai Biograf cinema in Kolding (Denmark) hosted the screenings of The Other Side of Everything and Styx. Dicte C. Houmøller, LUX ambassador in the country, introduced the films for local audiences and discussed the value of the initiative. “The general atmosphere of sharing this cinematic experience with people all over Europe and noticing the satisfied and talkative Danes around me only underlined the importance of these days”. Despite some initial technical problems, the screening of Styx in Finland was also a big success. Finish representative of the 28 Times Cinema Santeri Laasanen reported from Kino Iris, in Lahti, where audiences were deeply moved by the film. "When the credits for Styx started rolling, there was neither a whisper nor a creaking seat in the almost full venue. For the tiniest moment, this eerie shared silence reminded of the power cinema holds as a communal experience”.

This year, a higher number venues participated in the event. Apart from the screenings in Brussels, The Other Side of Everything was also shown in Athens, Bari, Bologna, Charleroi, Copenhagen, Ghent, Kolding, Krakow, Odense, Rijeka, Rotterdam and Tartu. Woman at War reached Athens, Charleroi, Ghent, Paris, Rijeka, Rotterdam, Santiago de Compostela and Tartu. Finally, Styx was screened in Amsterdam, Athens, Baden, Bologna, Boras, Dresden, Kolding, Krakow, Lahti, Limassol, Ljubljana (as part of the Ljubljana International Film Festival), Osijek, Porto, Santiago de Compostela, Stockholm (as part of the Stockholm Film Festival), and Tartu. Many of these screenings were local premieres, and all of them were free of charge.

The three films will continue its tour across the different EU countries over the following weeks. Stay tuned for updates on our agenda so you don't miss the upcoming screenings of the LUX Film Days. You can also vote for the Audience Mention until 31st January.

Gallery Images: 
Astor Cinema
Cinema Paradiso
Cinema Urania Osijek
Cinema Trinidade Porto
Elektriteater Tartu
Kino Iiris Lahti City
Nicolai Biograf Kolding
Rialto Cyprus