45 Years makes shortlist for Lux prize

British film one of 10 vying for European Parliament award.

by Richard Mowe

Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling in Michael Powell Award winner 45 Years.
Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling in Michael Powell Award winner 45 Years. Photo: Agatha A. Nitecka © 45 Years Film Ltd
Andrew Haigh's 45 Years has been selected as one of the ten films of the official selection of the European Parliament's Lux Film Prize, it has been announced over the weekend (July 5) at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

The film - which picked up the Michael Powell Award at Edinburgh Film Festival last week - stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as a long-married couple whose marriage is thrown into crisis.

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 hot-button issues across the continent.

Mediterranea - which premiered successfully in Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival and received a strong word of mouth as well as critical acclaim - could scarcely be more topical. It looks at migrant life from the perspectives of Ayiva (Koudous Seihon) and Abas (Alassane Sy), two friends from Burkina Faso who arrive by boat at the Calabrian city of Rosarno and are routed into jobs at an orange grove, examining how the community reacts to the newcomers.

Meanwhile, economic problems are highlighted by The Measure Of A Man - which competed in Cannes - and The Lesson, which took the New Directors prize at San Sebastian last year.

Compiled by the Lux Prize selection panel, the 2015 titles feature five first features, the first Icelandic film (Rams) in the selection and the first documentary (Toto And His Sisters, another film wish strong social themes) to take part in the prize finalists, as well as two films directed by female filmmakers.

Out of these ten films, three will be selected and announced at the Venice Days press conference in Rome at the end of July as the prize competitors. These films will vie for the 2015 LUX Prize and will become the core of the 2015 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 winner will be unveiled at the end of the year in Strasbourg, and will also be made available for the visually and hearing-impaired.

The nominees are:

  • 45 Years by Andrew Haigh (United Kingdom)
  • A Perfect Day by Fernando León de Aranoa (Spain)
  • Rams by Grímur Hákonarson (Iceland, Denmark)
  • The Measure Of A Man by Stéphane Brizé (France)
  • Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano (Italy, United States, Germany, France, Qatar)
  • Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven (France, Germany, Turkey, Qatar)
  • Son Of Saul by László Nemes (Hungary)
  • Toto And His Sisters by Alexander Nanău (Romania, Hungary, Germany)
  • The Lesson by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (Bulgaria, Greece)
  • The High Sun by Dalibor Matanić (Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia)

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