Still from 45 Years

45 Years competes for the LUX Prize

The official selection for the European Parliament's 2015 LUX Prize has been announced, with Creative Europe-supported drama 45 Years - Andrew Haigh’s beautiful portrait of a fractured relationship featuring award-winning performances from Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay - selected to compete.

Fresh from its UK festival debut at Edinburgh where it won the Michael Powell award, the film joins a further two Creative Europe-supported titles in the list of ten films selected for the LUX Prize 2015.

Andrew Haigh's third feature is adapted from a novel by David Constantine, and has received support from Creative Europe through the Sales Agents scheme, as well as funding for it's release through the Automatic scheme for distribution. 

The film could now go on to gain a further boost to its profile as well as support for its distribution, benefitting from subtitling in the 24 official languages of the EU if it is chosen as one of the three finalists to join the LUX Film Days initiative.

Running since 2007, the LUX Prize casts a spotlight on films that go to the heart of the European public debate each year. It provides an innovative way to explore major European policy areas such as immigration, integration, poverty and violence against women. The Parliament believes that cinema, which is a mass cultural medium, attracts different generations and is affordable, can be an ideal vehicle for debate and reflection on Europe and its future. 

How it works

The competition kicks off at the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival with the unveiling of the ten selected films: the 2015 LUX Prize Official Selection. This year the line-up was revealed at the Czech gathering by European Parliament Committee on Legal affairs Chair, Pavel Svoboda, European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education member Bogdan Wenta, LUX Prize co-ordinator Doris Pack and Karlovy Vary Artistic Director and LUX Prize Selection panel member, Karel Och. 

Out of these ten films, three finalists are chosen to compete for the 2015 LUX Prize. These will be announced at the Venice Days press conference in Rome at the end of July. These films become the core of the 2015 LUX Film Days – an initiative that will see them circulated beyond their national market, with subtitles in the 24 official languages of the European Union and screenings in the 28 member countries. 

The Selection Panel is made up of 16 people drawn from the film world including producers, distributors, cinema operators, festival directors and film critics. The European Commission (Creative Europe) and the Eurimages Fund of the Council of Europe sit as observers. 

Audience Choice

The public is also able to vote for its favourite film, which will be awarded a special mention from the audience. Film lovers are invited to state their preferences on the LUX Prize website or Facebook page.  The results will be announced at the 2015 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Winner announced 17 December 

The Lux Prize award ceremony will take place on 17 December 2015 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The winning film will also be made available for the visually and hearing-impaired.

What it offers

The LUX Prize is becoming a quality label, backing European film productions. Its winning films, which previously include Ida (2014), The Selfish Giant (2013) and Tabu (2012), have become hits within the EU and beyond. It has helped publicise films that might not otherwise have been seen and discovered by many and has put the spotlight on urgent issues of the day.

When the European Parliament created the LUX Prize, it decided to focus on distribution because it believes that this is “the Achilles heel of European cinema”. Unlike the largely unified North American market, the film industry in European countries faces considerable organisational and economic difficulties which are further complicated by language barriers.

As a result, the LUX Prize winner does not receive a direct grant. The Parliament provides subtitles in the 24 official EU languages to all three finalists films and organises for them to be screened in all European countries during the LUX Film Days. In addition, the overall winning film is adapted for the visually or hearing impaired, alongside further, tailored promotion.

Creative Europe titles

Two further Creative Europe-funded films also feature in the line-up for the prize this year: Spanish director Fernando Leon de Aranoa's comedy A Perfect Day, whose release in Germany, France and the Netherlands was supported through the Automatic distribution scheme, and The High Sun (Zvizdan) which received funding from Creative Europe at development stage through the Slate funding scheme

The films selected all help to air different views on some of the main European social and political issues of the day, contributing to building a stronger European identity. They help to celebrate the universal reach of European values, illustrate the diversity of European traditions and shed light on the process of European integration.

Photo: Still from 45 Years