The winner of the 2015 LUX Prize Award was announced yesterday morning in Strasbourg at the European Parliament. The ceremony was introduced by the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, who praised the work of the LUX Prize for supporting the film industry at a critical time, and praised the importance of cinema as a means for cultural exchange and debate on topics of international relevance.
Schulz added that the European Parliament “stands beside artists who want to portray the many facets of our lives and our world, both the dark sides and the bright sides.”
Mustang, a Turkish French Qatari and German co-production was awarded the 2015 LUX Prize Award. Accepting the award, Deniz Gamze Erguven expressed her delight and, echoing the words of Martin Schulz, said that “cinema is a matter language with which we can talk about the way we see the world”. She also acknowledged the other finalists and said that their three films offered an accurate sketch of the situation in Europe today.
Mustang is set in a remote Turkish village and depicts life of five young orphaned sisters and challenges they face growing up as girls in a conservative society.
The film was selected as the French entry in the Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards.
Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano came in second in the final vote, The Italian French American German and Qatari co-production stars Koudous Seihon and Alassane Sy as friends who cross the Mediterranean Sea to immigrate to Italy, where they experience unexpected hostility from locals.
Third at the final votes, the excellent drama The Lesson (Urok) by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov. The Bulgarian Greek production tells the tale of middle-school teacher with a young daughter with several stresses in her life: one of her students is a petty thief, her father has taken up with a much younger woman after his wife died, and her husband is an unemployed drunkard who has wasted her earnings, supposedly trying to fix a broken-down camper rather than making the mortgage payments on their home. It has all become too much, as the bank is uncooperative, dismissive, and rigid regarding her situation, so she resorts to drastic measures to save her home from foreclosure.
Since 2007, the European Parliament LUX Film Prize casts an annual spotlight on films that go to the heart of European public debate. The Parliament believes that cinema, a mass cultural medium, can be an ideal vehicle for debate and reflection on Europe and its future.