The finalist movies were revealed at the Venice film festival on Friday.
The Vice-President of the European Parliament Evelyn Regner (AT, S&D) said:
“We love our European film, as it reflects our dreams, fears and hopes. European audiences proved their commitment last year, with 45 000 citizens participating in selecting the winning film. This year, each of the five films chosen offers a unique perspective on the challenges and chances that European society is encountering – empowering women and girls, growing social justice and equality as well as strengthening diversity. Now it’s time for you to choose the next winner together with us: look out for the free screenings in all EU countries, and have your say by rating the films on our platform.”
Discover the films
20 000 Species of Bees, by Spanish director Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren, tells the story of an eight-year-old who is suffering because people keep addressing them in ways that cause discomfort. During a summer in the Basque country, the child confides these worries to relatives and friends. But how can a mother handle her child’s quest for identity when she is herself still dealing with her own ambivalent parental legacy?
In Fallen Leaves by Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, we meet two lonely souls who are searching for the love of their lives: their chance, poignant meeting on a Helsinki night is hampered by alcoholism on his part, lost contact details, and life in general, which has a knack for placing obstacles in the way of people aspiring to attain happiness.
On the Adamant, by French director Nicolas Philibert, is a documentary film zooming in on a unique day care centre: a floating structure located on the Seine in the heart of Paris. It welcomes adults living with mental disorders, offering them care that grounds them in time and space, and helps them to recover or keep up their spirits. The film invites us to get on board and meet the patients and caregivers who bring the centre to life day to day.
Smoke Sauna Sisterhood by Estonian director Anna Hints follows a group of women that gather in the safe darkness of a smoke sauna to share their innermost thoughts and secrets. Enveloped by a warm, dense heat, they bare all to expel fears and shame trapped in their bodies and regain their strength.
The Teachers’ Lounge, directed by Ilker Çatak and produced in Germany, tells a story about Carla, a young high school teacher, distinguished from her colleagues by her idealism. When a series of unsolved thefts sour the atmosphere among the teaching staff, Carla decides to investigate. With the help of a hidden camera and to everyone’s surprise, she exposes the thief but her revelation unleashes forces that slide steadily out of control and presents Carla with an unsolvable dilemma.
The five nominated films will be subtitled in the EU’s 24 official languages and screened in cinemas across the EU. Parliament’s Liaison offices will also organise free screenings in member states to promote the nominated films locally.
EU citizens who attend screenings will be able to rate the films out of five stars, starting from 1 September via the dedicated LUX award platform. The winner will be selected jointly by the Members of the European Parliament and the public’s ratings, each accounting for 50% of the final result. The winning film will be announced in March 2024 in a dedicated ceremony organised in the European Parliament.
The five finalist films are chosen by a LUX selection panel that comprises renowned film experts from across Europe, appointed each year by coordinators of Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education. This year, the panel met on 28 June in Brussels.
Since 2020, the LUX – European Audience Film Award has been awarded by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy, in partnership with the European Commission and the Europa Cinemas network.
The European Parliament established the LUX Film Prize in 2007 to help distribute European films with high artistic quality that reflect cultural diversity in Europe and beyond, and that touch upon topics of common concern, such as human dignity, equality, non-discrimination, inclusion, tolerance, justice and solidarity.