This year’s LUX Prize, awarded by the European Parliament, has been given to Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown. The director collected the award during the Plenary Chamber in Strasbourg today. Members of Parliament had been able to vote for one of three finalists, which included Valeria Golino’s Miele (Italy-France) and Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant (UK).
The award came three months after the announcement of the finalists at the Venice Days. In the months leading up to the award, all three contenders were subtitled in the 24 European languages and screened at more than 40 cities across the 28 member states of the European Union. Following these screenings, called the LUX Film Days, audiences in Europe have been able to vote for the Public Mention, which will be presented to one of the three LUX finalists during the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2014.
The 766 members of the European Parliament chose the winner of the LUX Prize. In addition to the LUX Film Days, parliamentarians could also watch the competing films during daily screening sessions organised at the Altiero Spinelli Building of the European Parliament in Brussels or by accessing a VOD service.
The LUX Prize winner does not receive a direct grant. In addition to the subtitling offered to all three finalists, an adapted version for the visually or hearing impaired will be made of The Broken Circle Breakdown, as the final winner of the Prize. Further tailored promotion is also provided.
Since 2007, the European Parliament's LUX prize has cast an annual spotlight on films that go to the heart of the European public debate. The Parliament believes that cinema can be an ideal vehicle for debate and reflection on Europe and its future. The selected films help to air different views on some of the main social and political issues of the day and, as such, contribute to building a stronger European identity. Previous winners of the prize includeThe Snows of Kilimandjaro, When We Leave, Lorna’s Silence and The Edge of Heaven.
The LUX Prize is the third decoration for The Broken Circle Breakdown in less than a week. Last weekend the film scooped the award for Best Actress (Veerle Baetens) at the prestigious European Film Awards, while the Washington DC Film Critics Association (WAFCA) also presented the film with its award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Felix van Groeningen and Carl Joos wrote the screenplay for The Broken Circle Breakdown, which was based on the theatre play of the same name by Johan Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels. Dirk Impens of powerhouse Menuet (In Flanders Fields, Mont Blanc, The Misfortunates) produced the film with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.