The Broken Circle Breakdown by Belgian director Felix Van Groeningen is the winner of the 2013 LUX Prize. There were two other nominees, Clio Bernard’s The Selfish Giant and Valeria Golino’s Miele.
The LUX Prize is awarded each year on the basis of a vote by Members of the European Parliament. It is meant to show the European Parliament’s commitment to supporting European film industry and its creative efforts.
All three films selected as finalists for the LUX Prize have been awarded subtitles in the 24 official languages of the European Union, as well as a 35 mm film copy for each member state from the European Parliament. As LUX Prize finalists, they were screened in several important film festivals, including Venice, and at the LUX film days across Europe.
All three films were excellent but the Parliament opted for The Broken Circle Breakdown in the end. It is a musical love story about a Belgian couple coping with the tragic loss of a child. Accepting the award from EP President Martin Schulz, director Felix Van Groeningen said: The LUX Prize is a great initiative. It makes you watch films that you would not see otherwise.”
Congratulating the winner, President Schulz said, “By telling stories about who we are or who we could be, European films help to create a cultural consciousness for Europe. Film makers do not need us, European politicians, but we politicians need you, the film-makers. Stories and emotions can help to develop identity. European films boost a feeling of togetherness in Europe.”
Felix Van Groeningen thanked MEPs: “It’s an incredible honour to know that the MEPs actually chose my film, watched it and voted for me. That is why the LUX Prize is a great initiative – it makes you watch film that you would not see otherwise. It makes it possible for films to go to different territories, countries, and many people can see them. That is why we make the movies”
I congratulate Mr Van Groeningen, but I wanted to give special mention to Clio Bernard, director of The Selfish Giant. She is a relatively new British director and this is film particularly impressive. I believe the film has done relatively well in the UK, but if you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend it. Though if you get a chance to see any of the three films nominated this year, you should, they are all excellent.