The LUX Audience Award at KVIFF 2O21

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the biggest film event in Central and Eastern Europe, remains an essential stopover in the annual tour of the LUX Audience Award after its rebranding. During the 55th edition of the Czech gathering, which was pushed back to 20-28 August to ensure a physical event, various representatives of the European institutions took part in meetings and activities to actively promote the award, while taking the opportunity to discuss the wider context of the European cultural sector and the novelties about the recently approved Creative Europe Programme.

MEP Sabine Verheyen, chairwoman of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, was interviewed remotely by KVIFF on the Creative Europe budget for 2021-2027, which the EP managed to raise significantly after lengthy negotiations, aiming to “support the diverse film sector we have in Europe,” according to Verheyen. She also spoke about the first edition of the LUX Audience Award, where Collective by Alexander Nanau emerged triumphant at the LUX Award Ceremony back in June. The interview can be found on the festival’s online platform in a special section dedicated to Creative Europe.

Likewise, MEP Martina Dlabajova, vice-chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control, and co-initiator of the Creative industries group inside the European Parliament, took part in a meeting with seven representatives of MEDIA beneficiaries, which also embodied the different steps of the Czech audiovisual chain (from producers to festival organisers and distributors). The goal of this meeting was to discuss the role of the European Parliament in the negotiation for the new Creative Europe Programme and its importance for the recovery of the national film industry. Dlabajova also participated in a debate on the transformation of the Czech national film fund into a Czech Audiovisual fund (you can watch the meeting here).

In order to bring the LUX Audience Award closer to Czech audiences, KVIFF has made available God exists, her name is Petrunya by Teona Strugar Mitevska (LUX winner in 2019) through its online platform. The film will be accessible for free with Czech subtitles until 18 September, when two more films from previous LUX editions will follow. The platform also provides access to interesting interviews with Czech artists on European culture and the MEDIA programme. Furthermore, among the competing titles in Karlovy Vary 2021, we found former LUX protagonists, such as producer Jonas Dornbach (who was part of the LUX selection in 2016 with Toni Erdmann and in 2017 with Western), presenting the film Le Prince at the Czech festival.