A Syrian Love Story vies for Lux Prize

British film one of 10 in running for European Parliament Award.

by Amber Wilkinson

A Syrian Love Story has been selected to compete for the Lux Film Prize
A Syrian Love Story has been selected to compete for the Lux Film Prize
UK film A Syrian Love Story is among the 10 films selected for the 10th anniversary European Parliament's Lux Film Prize, announced at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Sean McAlister's film - the only documentary in the selection - documents the story of the relationship of man and wife, which puts you into the shoes of a family living through the Syrian revolution and war, then becoming refugees.

Amid the political turmoil in the UK as a result of the Brexit vote, it's worth noting that the Lux prize aims to cast a spotlight on the diversity of European cinema and its importance in building social and cultural values - and many of the films this year reflect current global conflicts and revolutionary trends.

As I Open My Eyes (À peine j’ouvre les yeux) Shows the young generation in Tunisia stuck between hope and love for their own country and repression and despair, while Danish film A War (Krigen) - the Danish entry to last year's Oscars - questions the limits of the international presence in Afghanistan and the wide-ranging effects of war.

Letters From War (Cartas Da Guerra) scrutinises colonialism through the point of view of a doctor working during the Angolan war while corresponding with his wife back in Portugal.

There is a rare showing for animation among the selection, with My Life As A Courgette (Ma vie de Courgette), which made waves during the Cannes Directors' Fortnight. Also fresh from Cannes is comedy Toni Erdmann, which won the FIPRESCI prize there.

Other blackly comic films inclue Sieranevada, which also premiered in Cannes and Suntan, which recently won the Best International Film Award in Edinburgh.

The list is completed by Mia Hansen-Løve's Things To Come (L’Avenir) and Paolo Virzì's Like Crazy (Pazza Gioia), which both boast women as their driving force.

This year's selection includes two first features and three from female directors.

Of the 10 films of the Official Selection, three will be selected and announced at the Venice Days press conference in Rome at the end of July. These films will compete to be the winner of the 2016 LUX Film Prize, and will become the core of the 2016 LUX Film Days – an initiative that will make them circulate beyond their national market, subtitling them into 24 official languages of the European Union and screening them in the 28 member countries.

The film of the 2015 LUX Film Prize Competition which received the highest number of votes from the audiences across Europe has also been announced – the acclaimed LUX PRIZE Winner Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven.

The nominees are:

  • A Syrian Love Story by Sean McAlister (United Kingdom)
  • Sieranevada by Cristi Piui (Romania, France)
  • Toni Erdmann by Maren Ade (Austria, Germany, Romania)
  • Suntan by Argyris Papadimitropolous (Greece)
  • Things To Come by Mia Hansen-Løve (France, Germany)
  • A War by Tobias Lindholm (Denmark)
  • Letters From War by Ivo M Ferreira (Portugal)
  • My Life As A Courgette by Claude Barras (Switzerland, France)
  • As I Open My Eyes by Leyla Bouzid (France, Tunisia, Belgium, UAE)
  • Like Crazy by Paolo Virzì (Italy, France)

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