The Lux Prize for European Cinema, introduced in 2007, is a prize given to a competing film by the European Parliament. It is named after the unit of illuminance "lux", Latin word for the light. The objective of the Lux Prize is to illuminate the public debate on European integration and to facilitate the diffusion of European films in the European Union.
Films to be selected have to meet following criteria:
For the first edition of the prize, three films were shortlisted by a 17-member panel composed mainly of people working in the cinematic professions who were appointed by the European Parliament's Culture and Education Committee
. Each film is shown nine times within the European Parliament in Brussels
, in a 90-seat cinema room specially conceived and built for this purpose.
Panel members were:
- Ivo Andrle, Czech Republic, Cinema operator and film distributor.
- György Báron, Hungary, Film critic.
- Kirsten Lykke Dalgaard, Denmark, Director of a cinema and a distribution company. President of the international Natfilm Festival.
- Michel Demopoulos, Greece, Special fiction adviser for the public television channels ERT. Former director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
- Fatima Djoumer, France, Head of International Affairs for Europa Cinémas.
- Waldemar Dabrowski, Poland, Former Culture Minister.
- Mercedes Echerer, Austria, Director of the EUXXL Film Festival.
- Enrique Gonzales Kuhn, Spain, In charge of acquisitions at a distribution company and cinema operator.
- Roman Gutek, Poland, Distributor and cinema operator.
- Dany Habran, Belgium, Head of Programmes at two cinemas.
- Susanne Hoffmann, Germany, Secretary-General of International Public Television and Director of the Prix Europa.
- Tony Jones, United Kingdom, Director of the Cambridge Film Festival and cinema operator.
- Stefan Kitanov, Bulgaria, Director of the Sofia Film Festival and producer.
- Rui Pereira, Portugal, Director of the Indielisboa Film Festival.
- Georgette Ranucci, Italy, Cinema operator and representative for the Cannes Festival in Rome and Milan. Head of Public Relations at a distribution company.
- Yvon Thiec, France, General Director of a cinema.
Only the 785 Members of the European Parliament
, who have seen all three films during the screenings or extra muros, are entitled to vote. Voting takes place electronically via the intranet site at the Parliament. The film which gains the highest number of votes is the winner.
The Lux Prize consists of assistance in kind in the form of subtitling
and video-to-film transfer (kinescopage) of the winning film in the 23 official EU languages
(including the film's original language, for the deaf and hard of hearing).
In the case that the winning film has already been sold for projection in cinemas in some countries and subtitled for the purpose, the nature of the prize (e.g. assistance with production of the DVD) will be determined by agreement between the European Parliament and the film's appointed representatives.
The trophy forming the Lux Prize's visual identity is created by the Belgian artist Jocelyne Coster
and inspired by a representation of the Tower of Babel
, the symbol also used by the European Parliament to indicate multilingualism
and cultural diversity united in a single place and with a single goal. The trophy is presented in the plenary in Strasbourg
to the laureate by the Parliament President
in front of the MEPs, and representatives from the other films in competition.