European Parliament crowns The Snows of Kilimanjaro
by Vitor Pinto
16/11/2011 - The European Parliament’s LUX Prize was awarded this morning in Strasbourg to Robert Guédiguian’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro [trailer, film focus], on the day of its commercial release in its country of origin, France. Guédiguian’s film, which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the latest Cannes Film Festival, beat the two other finalists: Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Greek title Attenberg [trailer, film focus] and Ruben Östlund’s Swedish film Play [trailer, film focus].
At the ceremony, the film’s producer, Marc Bordure, quoted the following words from Robert Guédiguian: "Europe’s values are, in my opinion, linked to the idea of the Republic – that Republic which Jean Jaurès, under whose auspices my film is placed, called a "social Republic": liberty, equality and fraternity are qualities that Europe also has a duty to defend [...] Please, don’t abandon the poor people of Victor Hugo, another guardian figure of the film and of Europe, in the "icy waters of selfish calculation'".
Created in 2007, the European Parliament’s LUX Prize once a year draws attention to films that contribute to the public debate in Europe. Cinema, as a mass cultural medium, can act as an ideal vehicle for debate and reflection about Europe and its future.
A selection panel (see interview) meets during the year in the European Parliament, in Brussels, to draw up a shortlist of ten films, which is then whittled down to three finalists. MEPs then have the chance to view the three films and vote for their favourite.
The LUX Prize focuses on film distribution by covering the cost of subtitling the winning film into the EU's 23 official languages, including an adaptation of the original version for hearing- or visually-impaired people, and supplying a digital cinema package or a 35mm print for the 27 EU member states.
Previous winners include Fatih Akin's The Edge of Heaven [trailer, film focus] (2007), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's The Silence of Lorna [trailer, film focus] (2008), Philippe Lioret's Welcome [trailer, film focus] (2009) and Feo Aladag's When We Leave [trailer, film focus] (2010).
Read the Film Focus about The Snows of Kilimanjaro and see the interview with director Guédiguian and actress Ariane Ascaride, carried out in September 2011, on the occasion of the film’s screening in the Venice Days – Giornate degli Autori section at the Venice Film Festival.
(Translated from Spanish)