Presented by the European Film Academy and the European Parliament, the new award merges the LUX Prize and the EFA People's Choice Award
A new European audience award was presented on the side of the Venice Film Festival on Saturday morning: Moderated by film journalist Domenico Laporta, it kicked off with a video message from the President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli. He stated that in spite of the great hardship cinema had to suffer due to Covid-19, it never stopped to accompany us and to tell our stories. Wanting to shorten the distance between institutions and the citizens, he said, the new award will involve the citizens
Via live transmission, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel congratulated the new co-operation and stressed the importance of film, especially in times like these.
Sabine Verheyen (EPP, DE), Chair of the Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee, then explained the details:
The new prize is now called „LUX – the European Audience Film Award by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy and in partnership with the European Commission and Europa Cinemas“.
While the LUX Prize was so far voted for by the members of the European Parliament, the winner of the new LUX – the European Audience Film Award will now be decided by a vote from both the Members of the European Parliament and the public.
The nominations will, as before be decided on by a panel of experts, new honorary president of the panel is EFA Chairman Mike Downey. These nominations, usually five (in its first edition, due to Covid-19, only three) will be announced as part of the European Film Awards ceremony in December.
After that, public screenings of the nominated films subtitled in the 24 official EU languages will be organised across Europe during the „watch-and-vote“ period with LUX Days and festival screenings plus an online vote until April and the winner will be celebrated in a ceremony on 28 April 2021 in the plenary of the European Parliament.
Sabine Verheyen stated her hope that this would lead to a „stronger sense of community and appreciation of culture“.
EFA Chairman Mike Downey stressed that the new award is a merger between the former LUX Prize and the EFA People’s Choice Award. The latter has been involving the public in the European Film Awards since 1996.
Claude-Eric Poiroux, General Director of the network of cinema theatres for the circulation of European films Europa Cinemas said that he is happy to continue being a partner and to welcome now also the European Film Academy as a partner. He underlined the importance of a closeness to the public, linking the films, their creators and the audience.
LUX coordinator Doris Pack stated that films can create understanding, for politicians, but also for pupils and their teachers and the general public.