Cold Case Hammarskjöld, God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya and The Realm to vie for the LUX FILM PRIZE 2019

Cold Case Hammarskjöld, God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya and The Realm to vie for the LUX FILM PRIZE 2019

Today, at the Giornate degli Autori press conference, after a streamed welcome message by the newly elected President of the European Parliament, David Maria Sassoli, the three films in competition for the 2019 LUX FILM PRIZE 2019 were unveiled:

Cold Case Hammarskjöld - Mads Brügger (Denmark/Norway/Sweden/Belgium)

God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya - Teona Strugar Mitevska (North Macedonia/Belgium/Slovenia/Croatia/France)

The Realm – Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Spain/France)

About the three finalist films

The three films and the topical themes that they address (-) once again display the creative diversity in European cinema. A wide range of film styles is visible in this selection, which includes a documentary (marking the third time in LUX FILM PRIZE history that a documentary has featured among the three finalists), a social drama with touches of comedy, and a political thriller. Thus, both genre and gender are well-placed in the selection, as the work of a female director is once again featured, in the shape of a film tackling the necessary and topical discussion about the presence of women in the social, political and religious spheres.   

Cold Case Hammarskjöld by Mads Brügger
A provocative investigation into the 1961 death of Swedish UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. A film that reminds us how feature filmmaking can be a consciousness-raising force and that, as a bonus, is also hilarious, charming and deeply humanist.

God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya by Teona Strugar Mitevska
A powerful cinematic work that tells the story of a woman who finds herself in a position that only men have access to at a religious ceremony, and which makes a significant contribution to the feminist struggle, the most acute social issue of our times, which has yet to gain momentum in the Balkans.

The Realm by Rodrigo Sorogoyen
A forceful and adrenaline-charged thriller that grapples  with political corruption, through the demise of a successful politician and his fiefdom, which had looked destined to last forever.

These three films have already been in the spotlight at international film festivals. Cold Case Hammarskjöld world-premiered at Sundance, where it received the World Cinema Documentary Competition Directing Award, God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya world-premiered in competition at the Berlinale, where it picked up the Ecumenical Jury Prize, and The Realm world-premiered in competition at San Sebastián, before going on to win seven Spanish Goyas.

The LUX Film Days and the Award Ceremony

For the eighth year, these films will be the main core of the LUX Film Days in the autumn. Through this initiative, and in order to support the European film industry and help these significant European (co-)productions to circulate beyond their national market, the LUX FILM PRIZE subtitles the three competing films into the 24 official languages of the European Union and screens them in more than 50 cities and festivals across all 28 EU countries. In doing so, the European Parliament supports cultural diversity as it brings films to audiences across Europe and encourages debate on the issues they raise.

This year’s LUX Film Days will once again take advantage of the cooperation between the European Parliament Liaison Offices and the Creative Europe MEDIA Desks to strengthen visibility and increase accessibility. Three simultaneous screenings with webstreamed live debates with the directors will be organised in partnership with Creative Europe. 

In autumn, the newly elected members of the European Parliament will be invited to vote for one of the three films in competition. The winner will be announced on 27 November at the formal sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, in the presence of the directors. The winning title will be further adapted for those with visual and hearing impairments, and will also receive promotional support during its international release.

28 Times Cinema

Once again this year, the 28 Times Cinema project, another outcome of the fruitful partnership between the European Parliament’s LUX FILM PRIZE and Giornate degli Autori, will host its tenth-anniversary edition. Through the collaboration with Europa Cinemas and Cineuropa, 28 young cinephiles aged 18 to 25 will get the chance to be the jury for the GdA Director's Award. Additionally, the group will be totally immersed in the LUX FILM PRIZE experience, taking part in workshops and debates discussing the three films in the Official Competition. This special event is a fantastic opportunity to prepare them for their role as LUX FILM PRIZE Ambassadors when they will present the LUX Films in their respective countries.

About the ten films in the 2019 Official Selection

 The three films in the Official Competition are part of the LUX FILM PRIZE Official Selection, unveiled at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on 30 June.

These are the ten films in the 2019 LUX FILM PRIZE Official Selection:

Clergy - Wojciech Smarzowski (Poland)

Cold Case Hammarskjöld - Mads Brügger (Denmark/Norway/Sweden/Belgium)

God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya - Teona Strugar Mitevska (North Macedonia/Belgium/Slovenia/Croatia/France)

Her Job – Nikos Labôt (Greece/France/Serbia)

Honeyland - Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov (North Macedonia)

Invisibles – Louis-Julien Petit (France)

Ray & Liz – Richard Billingham (UK)

System Crasher – Nora Fingscheidt (Germany)

The Man Who Surprised Everyone – Natasha Merkulova, Aleksey Chupov (Russia/Estonia/France)

The Realm – Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Spain/France)