Vote for the LUX Audience Award 2024 at FFG
The LUX Audience Award is presented annually by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy in cooperation with the European Commission and Europa Cinemas. This year, the prize went to Close by Lukas Dhont. The aim of the award is to draw attention to European cinema in general and in particular films on social, political and cultural themes. The five nominated films were chosen by a panel of European film experts.
20.000 especies de abejas
Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
This Spanish debut film about gender and identity is set in the Basque country. Eight-year-old Aitor goes with his mother to visit his grandmother and several conflicts crop up. Aitor, commonly called Coco, no longer feels at home in his body and his mother has her own problems. Especially with her mother and her father's inheritance. Only the family bee farm seems an oasis of calm. It brings acceptance and tolerance, because if there are 20 000 species of bees, there must be room for different species of people, right? Sofia Otero was awarded a Silver Bear for her role as Aitor at the Berlinale.
20.000 especies de abejas (20.000 Species of Bees)
Kaurismäki's twentieth feature is set in a Helsinki karoake bar where two lost souls meet. They are looking for some happiness but life itself creates a lot of obstacles in the process. "Longing for love, solidarity, hope, mutual respect, nature and everything living and dead are themes that, in the midst of senseless and criminal wars, may offer humanity a future perspective," says the director about his latest film in which he "salutes his film gods Bresson, Ozu and Chaplin with his too-small hat but is otherwise entirely responsible himself for the catastrophic failure of his film".
Smoke Sauna Sisterhood
One of the powerful women's stories woven like a thread into the programme of the 50th edition of FFG. In an Estonian smoke sauna, which is declared immaterial cultural heritage, women recount their experiences with all aspects of a patriarchal society. Open and naked, without bodyshaming, with humour, surprise, annoyance, bitterness but also with a healing sisterly connection. An impressive hybrid documentary about the power of purifying rituals.
Smoke Sauna Sisterhood
Idealistic maths and physical education teacher Carla Nowak finds herself in the midst of a storm when she gets involved in an investigation into an alleged theft by one of her students. The more she tries her best to follow the rules, the more she risks capsizing. With a vessel full of topical themes, Ilker Çatak offers one of the most suspenseful and claustrophobic thrillers of the year, and through the school he also eyes society.
The fifth nominated film is Sur L'Adamant by Nicolas Philibert. He takes us to a unique day centre in Paris where adults with mental illnesses can go to catch their breath and develop their artistic talents. Place of action: the boat L'Adamant, located on the Seine. This beautiful documentary that takes a stand against the dehumanisation of psychiatry won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale earlier this year.
These five nominated films will be subtitled in the 24 official languages of the European Union (EU) and screened in all EU countries. You can help determine the winner of the LUX Audience Award by casting your vote until March 2024. Public votes count for 50 per cent when the winner is finally awarded. The other half comes from members of the European Parliament. Created by the European Parliament in 2007, the LUX Audience Award was merged with the European Film Academy's People's Choice Award in 2020. It will be presented, during March 2024, at the European Parliament.
With decades of film history behind him, former film critic Raf Butstraen is the ideal man to bring the latest film news for Film Fest Ghent.