The Lux Prize, previously awarded by the European Parliament, has merged with EFA’s People’s Choice Award, and is rebranded as the Lux European Audience Film Award.
The new prize, which can be awarded to fiction or documentary feature films, will be presented jointly by the European Parliament and the EFA, in partnership with the European Commission and exhibitor rep organisation Europa Cinemas.
Significantly, voting for the new award has been extended to the European cinema-going public. The vote was previously conducted among MEPs.
The change was announced at the Venice Film Festival on September 5 by Mike Downey, Chairman of the European Film Academy, Europa Cinemas’ Claude-Eric Poiroux, LUX co-ordinator Doris Pack and European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel (pictured on screen above).
The three finalists (which will increase to five in future years) will be announced during the European Film Awards ceremony, Reykjavik, December 12 2020. The films will be subsequently subtitled and screened across Europe until April 2021. The final vote will be divided equally between MEPs and the European public (50% each). The winner will be announced April 28 2021.
Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee and German MEP, commented in Venice:
“We know that the first year of this new award will not be easy. There are unknowns and even more unpredictable possibilities than usual. Covid has had, and still has, an impact on all aspects of our lives, but there is no time machine that can lead us back to the pre Covid-19 times.”
“I therefore sincerely hope that we will come together in building a stronger sense of community and belonging in defending cinema and culture,” she added. “The current situation is also a possibility to have a more regular and closer dialogue from now on, and I promise that we will actively participate in giving a new breath to culture and cinema.”
“My wish is that we will find a new sense of sharing emotions, tears and laughs, in the bright darkness of a cinema theatre. I invite all of you to follow this new Lux Award and to be part of it.”
The selection criteria for the Lux European Audience Film Award are as follows:
Fiction or documentary films (may be animated)
· Minimum length of 60 minutes
· Produced or co-produced in a European Union country or in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland
· Illustrates the universality of European values and the diversity of European culture, bringing insights into the debate on the process of building Europe
· Released for the first time between May 1 of the previous year and June 1 of the current year