Flee, Great Freedom and Quo Vadis, Aida? are competing for the 2022 LUX Audience Award

Flee, Great Freedom and Quo Vadis, Aida? are competing for the 2022 LUX Audience Award

The three finalists were unveiled during the European Film Awards ceremony on 11 December 2021.

The three films that will run for the 2022 LUX Audience Award were announced during the 34th European Film Awards, which took place on Saturday 11 December 2021 as a live ceremony broadcast streamed from Berlin, changing format to take account of the deteriorating situation due to the pandemic (see the news). The ceremony was hosted by the German actress, moderator and writer Annabelle Mandeng and co-hosted by Mike Downey OBE, Chairman of the European Film Academy and Honorary President of the LUX Audience Award selection panel, who revealed the three nominated titles: Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden), Great Freedom by Sebastian Meise (Austria, Germany) and Quo Vadis, Aida? by Jasmila Žbanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Romania, France, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Norway, Turkey).

Once again, the three films competing in the second pan-European audience award were presented jointly by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy, in partnership with the European Commission and the Europa Cinemas network. The shortlist shows the project’s commitment to promoting films that deal with urgent topics at the very heart of the European public debate, while showcasing the diversity and complexity of European cinema.

Flee by Danish director Jonas Poher Rasmussen delivers a powerful story about migration and self-discovery. Through a series of intimate interviews and the effective use of animation, the director recounts the story of one of his closest friends, who fled Afghanistan as a child and struggled to build a life for himself in Europe. Originally selected for Cannes 2020, the film had its world premiere during the World Cinema Documentary Competition of the Sundance Film Festival, taking the Grand Jury Prize. Flee has also been selected as the Danish submission for the Academy Awards and it recently received the European Film Academy’s European University Film Award, for which all three LUX titles were nominated.

Austrian director Sebastian Meise’s  feature film, Great Freedom, tells the life story of a man (played brilliantly by German actor Franz Rogowski) who spends most of his adult life in prison for being gay. Meise’s impressive drama, which premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section earlier this year, where it was awarded the Jury prize, examines post-war Germany in three different periods, with a particular focus on the criminalisation of queer life under the infamous Paragraph 175. Great Freedom has already gained widespread recognition, winning accolades such as the main award in Sarajevo. It has also been selected as the Austrian entry for the Oscars in 2022.

Jasmila Žbanić’s take on the Srebrenica massacre has likewise received much praise since its world premiere at the 77th Venice Film Festival, where it competed for the Golden Lion. Quo Vadis, Aida? focuses on the titular character, a UN interpreter trying to save her family when the Serbian army takes over the small town of Srebrenica in 1995. The Bosnian director (whose feature debut Grbavica won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2006), also wrote the screenplay of this breathtaking story that led the nominations for the European Film Awards and was celebrated at several festivals.

These three fascinating films, selected by a committee of 13 members and two observers drawn from the European film industry (including film-makers, festival programmers and former members of the 27 Times Cinema project), will travel the continent over the coming months and will be shown at various events and screenings. The films will be subtitled into the 24 official languages of the EU with the aim of reaching a broader audience across EU countries and of stimulating discussions on the timely themes they address. Even though there are only three films running for the award on this occasion, the LUX Audience Award is still expecting to increase the number of finalists to five titles in the future.

On 12 December 2021, the voting platform was launched on the LUX Audience Award official website, kicking off the ‘Watch & Vote’ period, during which audiences throughout Europe will be able to cast their votes by rating the nominated films. Up-to-date information on screenings in cinemas, festivals and video-on-demand catalogues will also be available on the site. As of March 2022, the European Parliament will also allow MEPs to vote for the nominated films using an internal platform. During the LUX Film Days from mid-March to the end of May, the three finalists will tour Europe with screenings organised in cooperation with the European Parliament’s Liaison Offices in all EU countries. Once again, the winner of the LUX Audience Award will be jointly selected by combining the votes from the public with those from the MEPs (each representing a 50 % share). The Award Ceremony will take place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 8 June 2022.

The films nominated for the LUX Audience Award 2022 won awards in the following categories at the European Film Awards 2021:

FLEE

https://europeanfilmawards.eu/en_EN/film/flee.19554

– European Documentary 2021, European Animated Feature Film 2021, European University Film Award 2021

 

GREAT FREEDOM  https://www.europeanfilmawards.eu/de_DE/film/great-freedom.19657

– European Cinematography 2021, European Original Score 2021

 

QUO VADIS AIDA?

https://europeanfilmawards.eu/en_EN/film/quo-vadis-aida.19540

–  European Film 2021, European Director 2021, European Actress 2021