Lux Prize

LUX – the European Audience Film Award by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy, also known as LUX European Audience Film Award and commonly known as the LUX Prize or LUX Film Prize, is a prize given to a competing film by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy, in partnership with the European Commission and Europa Cinemas. Introduced in 2007, the prize is named after the Latin word for "light", lux. Between its first edition in 2007 and 2019, its official name was the European Parliament LUX Award.

LUX Prize
2007 logo. The trophy is inspired by-, and the underlying concept of the award is the Tower of Babel.
Awarded forExcellence in illustrating the universality of European values and the diversity of European culture
CountryCountries eligible for the European Commission Media Programme
Presented byEuropean Parliament
First awarded2007

The award is aimed at highlighting films which help to raise awareness of socio-political issues in Europe and to publicise and encourage distribution of European films in the European Union and throughout the world. Open to both fiction (narrative) and documentary films of feature length, entries are limited to films made within Europe and demonstrating European values and/or showcasing European culture. The finalists gain both publicity and enhanced prospects for worldwide distribution through having their films subtitled into the official 24 European languages as part of the award process.

Until 2020 the prize was awarded the European Parliament only, and voting was based on voting by Members of the European Parliament, but for the 2020 prize (to be awarded in June 2021) and henceforth, audience voting by the public will count for 50 per cent of the vote.

The most recent winner (2019) was the God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija, by Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska.


Creation and aims

The award was created in 2007.[1][2] The name of the prize originates from the Latin word for "light", lux,[3] with the award named in honour of the Lumière Brothers, who invented cinematography.[4] The word origin is related to the aim of the award, which is to illuminate public debate on European integration and to facilitate the diffusion of European films in the European Union".[3]

The symbol of the LUX Prize is the Tower of Babel, and the trophy reflects the shape of a tower. It is "a symbol of history where linguistic and cultural diversity join forces".[4] It was designed by Belgian artist Jocelyne Coster.[2]

The European Parliament believes that films help to instigate debate and raise awareness of socio-political issues in Europe, especially with regard to European integration, thus helping to forge and celebrate a stronger European identity and values. The prize also helps to publicise and encourage distribution of European films in the European Union and throughout the world, which otherwise may not get widespread distribution owing to language and other barriers.[5]

Earlier editions

For the first edition of the prize, three films were shortlisted by a 17-member panel, comprising mainly people in the film industry,[2] who viewed 800 feature films produced in Europe in the year from May 2006 to May 2007. The first LUX Prize was awarded to Turkish-born German director Fatih Akin, for his film The Edge of Heaven.[1][5]

The jury members were appointed by the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education, and it was planned that a third of the jury would be rotated each year. All members of the European Parliament were able to watch the final three films, but only those who have seen all three qualify for voting rights.[3]

The producers of the ten shortlisted films are required to provide digital copies in the form of DVDs, Vimeo link, or OpenDCP for the members of the European Parliament. In 2015, the shortlisted Son of Saul was disqualified when the production team refused to provide this, fearing that the film copies would be pirated.[6]

In 2019, there were 21 members on the judging panel. The selection of the first 10 films was announced in March of that year, with the final three selected in July and the winner announced in Strasbourg on 27 November.[4]

2020 changes

Partly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, changes were announced to the name, the selection process and the timetabling of the LUX Award in September 2020. The European Parliament and the European Film Academy would be responsible for the management of the award, in partnership with the European Commission and the Europa Cinemas network. The name was changed to LUX – the European Audience Film Award by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy, with the abbreviated version LUX European Audience Film Award.[7] The new format was announced by Sabine Verheyen, chair of the Culture Committee, at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.[8]

There would henceforth be five nominees competing for the award, which would all be subtitled in 24 European languages, but due to the impact of the pandemic on the film industry, only three would be nominated for the first edition of the new format. The jury would remain similar, but the winner would be selected jointly by MEPs and the public, with each contributing 50 per cent towards the final vote.[7]

Award process

Selection criteria

As of 2019, films have to meet following eligibility criteria:[4]

  • Fiction or documentary films (may be animated)
  • Minimum length of 60 minutes
  • Produced or co-produced in a European Union country or in Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Montenegro, under the Creative Europe/Media Programme.
  • Illustrates the universality of European values and the diversity of European culture, and raise awareness of social or political issues
  • Released for the first time between May 1 of the previous year and June 1 of the current year. For the 2021 edition, the release period was expanded, from 1 June 2019 until 12 September 2020, including online releases.[9]


Ten films are shortlisted, and three of these are selected for the final competition. After three (five after 2021[7]) films have been selected from the 10 preselected films, these films are subtitled into the 24 official EU languages, and they are screened in all EU countries during the "LUX Film Days".[4] In the 2020 edition, no preselection was hold, announcing directly the three nominated films.

2020 selection and voting timetable

In 2020, the European Film Awards Ceremony was supposed to take place in Reykjavík, Iceland, on 12 December. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Ceremony took place the scheduled day in a virtual format broadcast and streamed from the European Film Academy site in Berlin, where the three nominated films were announced. The three nominated films were chosen by a selection panel[10] consisting of 21 people: Mike Downey (Ireland), Honorary President of the LUX European Audience Film Award, Chairman of the European Film Academy; Jürgen Biesing (Germany), Producer, European Film Awards; Peter Bognar (Hungary), Distributor, Festival Programmer; Mihai Christian Chirilov (Romania), Film Critic, Artistic Director of TIFF; Ditte Daugbjerg Chistensen (Denmark), Øst for Paradis Cinema, Managing director & Head of distribution; José Luis Cienfuegos (Spain), Director of the Sevilla European Film Festival; Fatima Djoumer, International relations and events administrator, Europa Cinéma; Juliette Duret (Belgium), Head of Cinema, BOZAR; Jakub Duszynski (Poland), Distributor, GUTEK Film, Co-President Europa Distribution; Giorgio Gosetti (Italy), Artistic Director of Venice Days Film Festival; Vanessa Henneman (Netherlands), Talent manager/agent; Mathilde Henrot (France), Founder of Festival Scope; Matthias Holz (Sweden), Cinema exhibitor and Programming Manager; Yorgos Krassakopoulos (Greece), Head of Programming Thessaloniki Film Festival, Film Critic; Christophe Leparc (France), Secretary General of Director's Fortnight , Cannes Film Festival; Susan Newman-Baudais (Ireland), Eurimages. Head of Programme – Co-production; Karel Och (Czech Republic), Film Critic and Artistic Director of Karlovy Vary Film Festival; Mira Stavela (Bulgaria), Managing Director Sofia IFF; Teona Strugar Mitevska (North Macedonia), Film Director; Mantė Valiūnaitė (Lithuania), Artistic Director, Vilnius Film Festival; Maria Silvia Gatta (Italy), Observer.

The nominated films, after subtitling in the 24 official languages, are being screened across Europe until May 2021.[7] Between 10 and 16 May 2021 the "LUX Audience Week" takes place, with simultaneous screenings and debates organised across the continent.[8] The public is able to vote by ranking the nominated films, awarding them one to five stars, and the totals will represent 50 per cent of the vote, with the other 50 per cent going to the MEPs.[7] Voting period closes on 23 May 2021.

The winning film will be announced at the LUX Award Ceremony on 9 June 2021,[11] during a plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, as in previous editions. The Parliament President presents the award to the laureate in front of the MEPs and representatives from the other films in competition.[7]

2020 Voting process

The audience can cast their votes for all three nominated films from 13 December 2020 until 23 May 2021 on the Lux award website.[12] Audiences will be able to rate each film via this website. Members of the European Parliament will also vote, from March until 23 May 2021 via a dedicated voting page of the institution. Ratings can be changed an unlimited number of times until the voting closes. The last vote counts.

The final ranking will be determined by combining the public vote and the vote by the Members of the European Parliament, with each group weighing 50%.

Pre-2020 timetable and process

FebruarySelection starts
June–JulyKarlovy Vary International Film Festival,
Karlovy Vary,
the Czech Republic
Launch of the Selection processPublic announcement of the 10-LUX films of the Official Selection
Selection of the 3 shortlist filmsAnnouncement of the 3 films in the Official Competition
SeptemberVenice Film Festival,
Special screeningsVenice Days
September–NovemberLUX Film Days,
cities across European Union member states, candidates, European Economic Area, Switzerland
Special screeningsLaunched in 2012, the project aims to bring the screenings of the 3 finalists of the award. It is aired mainly in the cinemas that are part of the Europa Cinemas film theatre networks. For most countries, the screenings are also national premieres. Screenings take place also in cooperation with film festivals:
Thessaloniki International Film Festival,
Stockholm International Film Festival,
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival,
• Sevilla Film Festival,
Sofia International Film Festival,
Zagreb Film Festival.
Novemberinternetfinal votingOnly 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.
November–Decemberthe Seat of the European Parliament,
the formal, official sitting session of parliament, Selection of the winnerLUX Prize Award Ceremony and seminar for journalists

Winners and nominees

Winners are listed first and highlighted in bold.


YearResultEnglish titleOriginal titleDirectorNationality of Director
(at time of film's release)
LanguageAcademy Awards
Best Foreign Language Film
European Film Awards
Best Film
2007WinnerThe Edge of HeavenAuf der anderen SeiteFatih Akın GermanyGerman, Turkish, Englishsubmissionnomination
Top-3 Shortlist4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zileCristian Mungiu RomaniaRomaniansubmissionwon
Belle ToujoursManoel de Oliveira PortugalFrench
SelectionDas FräuleinAndrea Štaka  SwitzerlandGerman, Swiss German dialect, Serbo-Croatian
Kalinovsky SquerePloshchaJury Chaščavacki BelarusRussian, Belarusian, English (subtitles)
It Happened Just BeforeKurz davor ist es passiertAnja Salomonowitz AustriaGerman
Iska's JourneyIszka utazásaCsaba Bollók HungaryHungarian, Romanian
California Dreamin'California Dreamin' (nesfârșit)Cristian Nemescu RomaniaRomanian, English
2008WinnerLorna's SilenceLe Silence de LornaJean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne BelgiumFrench, Italian, German
Top-3 ShortlistDeltaKornél Mundruczó HungaryHungarian
Citizen HavelObčan HavelMiroslav Janek and Pavel Koutecký Czech RepublicCzech
SelectionRevancheGötz Spielmann AustriaGerman, Russian
The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the CornerСветът е голям и спасение дебне отвсякъдеStefan Komandarev BulgariaBulgarian, German, Italian, Slovenian
Cloud 9Wolke NeunAndreas Dresen GermanyGerman
TricksSztuczkiAndrzej Jakimowski PolandPolish
Autumn BallSügisballVeiko Õunpuu EstoniaEstonian
Worlds ApartTo verdenerNiels Arden Oplev DenmarkDanish
The rest of the night Il Resto della notteFrancesco Munzi ItalyItalian, Romanian
2009WinnerWelcomePhilippe Lioret FranceFrench, English, Kurdish, Turkish
Top-3 ShortlistEastern PlaysИзточни пиесиKamen Kalev BulgariaBulgarian
StormSturmHans-Christian Schmid GermanyEnglish, German, Bosnian, Serbian
SelectionPandora's BoxPandora'nın KutusuYeşim Ustaoğlu TurkeyTurkish
35 Shots of Rum35 RhumsClaire Denis FranceFrench, German
AnderRoberto Castón SpainBasque, Spanish
NorthNordRune Denstad Langlo NorwayNorwegian
Katalin VargaPeter Strickland United KingdomHungarian, Romanian
Lost Persons AreaCaroline Strubbe BelgiumEnglish, Dutch, Hungarian
For a Moment, FreedomEin Augenblick FreiheitFrancesco Munzi AustriaEnglish, Persian, Turkish


YearResultEnglish titleOriginal titleDirectorNationality of Director
(at time of film's release)
LanguageAcademy Awards
Best Foreign Language Film
European Film Awards
Best Film
2010WinnerWhen We LeaveDie FremdeFeo Aladag Austria [13]German, Turkish
Top-3 ShortlistAkadimia PlatonosΑκαδημία ΠλάτωνοςFilippos Tsitos GreeceGreek, Albanian, German
IllégalOlivier Masset-Depasse Belgium [14]French
SelectionMedal of HonorMedalia de onoareCalin Peter Netzer RomaniaRomanian
The Mouth of the WolfLa bocca del lupoPietro Marcello ItalyItalian
LourdesJessica Hausner AustriaFrench
I Am LoveIo sono l'amoreLuca Guadagnino ItalyItalian
Bibliothèque PascalSzabolcs Hajdu HungaryRomanian, English, Hungarian
RTobias Lindholm, Michael Noer DenmarkDanish, Arabic
Eastern DriftEurazijos aborigenasŠarūnas Bartas LithuaniaFrench, Lithuanian, Russian
2011WinnerThe Snows of KilimanjaroLes Neiges du KilimandjaroRobert Guédiguian FranceFrench
Top-3 ShortlistAttenbergAthina Rachel Tsangari GreeceGreek
PlayRuben Östlund SwedenSwedish
SelectionMysteries of LisbonMistérios de LisboaRaúl Ruiz PortugalPortuguese, French, English
Le HavreAki Kaurismäki FinlandFrench
The Turin HorseA torinói lóBéla Tarr HungaryHungarian
MorgenMarian Crişan RomaniaRomanian, Hungarian, Turkish
Essential Killing Jerzy Skolimowski PolandEnglish, Polish, Arabic
We Have a PopeHabemus PapamNanni Moretti ItalyItalian
PinaWim Wenders GermanyGerman, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Korean, Spanish
2012WinnerShun Li and the PoetIo sono LiAndrea Segre ItalyItalian, Mandarin
Top-3 ShortlistJust the WindCsak a szélBenedek Fliegauf Hungary
TabuMiguel Gomes Portugal
SelectionCaesar Must DieCesare deve morireVittorio Taviani, Paolo Taviani Italynomination
Children of SarajevoDjecaAida Begić Bosnia and Herzegovina
BarbaraChristian Petzold Germanysubmissionnomination
Crulic: The Path to BeyondCrulic - Drumul spre dincoloAnca Damian Romania
Louise WimmerCyril Mennegun France
SisterL'Enfant d'en hautUrsula Meier France
Our ChildrenÀ perdre la raisonJoachim Lafosse Belgium
2013WinnerThe Broken Circle BreakdownFelix Van Groeningen BelgiumDutchnominationnomination
Top-3 ShortlistMieleValeria Golino Italy
The Selfish GiantClio Barnard United Kingdom
SelectionFortressPevnostLukáš Kokeš, Klára Tasovská Czech Republic
A Coffee In BerlinOh Boy!Jan Ole Gerster Germanynomination
The PlagueLa PlagaNeus Ballús Spain
The Great BeautyLa grande bellezzaPaolo Sorrentino Italy
CirclesКруговиSrdan Golubovic Serbia
In Bloomგრძელი ნათელი დღეებიNana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Groß Georgia  Germany
Eat Sleep DieÄta sova döGabriela Pichler Sweden
2014WinnerIdaPaweł Pawlikowski PolandPolish, French, Latinwonwon
Top-3 ShortlistClass EnemyRazredni sovražnikRok Biček Slovenia
GirlhoodBande de fillesCéline Sciamma France
SelectionWhite GodFehér istenKornél Mundruczó Hungary
Beautiful YouthHermosa juventudJaime Rosales Spain
Stations of the CrossKreuzwegDietrich Brüggemann Germany
The WondersLe meraviglieAlice Rohrwacher Italy
MacondoSudabeh Mortezai Austria
Force MajeureTuristRuben Östlund Sweden
XeniaPanos H. Koutras Greece
2015WinnerMustangDeniz Gamze Ergüven TurkeyTurkishnominationnomination
Top-3 ShortlistMediterraneaJonas Carpignano Italy
The LessonУрокKristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov Bulgaria
SelectionRamsHrútarGrímur Hákonarson Iceland
45 YearsAndrew Haigh United Kingdom
A Perfect DayUn día perfectoFernando León de Aranoa Spain
The Measure of a ManLa Loi du marchéStéphane Brizé France
Son of SaulSaul fiaLászló Nemes HungaryGerman, Hungarian, Polish, Yiddish, Russian, Slovak, Czech, Greekwon
Toto and His SistersToto si surorile luiAlexander Nanau Romania
The High SunZvizdanDalibor Matanić Croatia
2016WinnerToni ErdmannMaren Ade Germany [15]German, English, Romanianwonwon
Top-3 ShortlistAs I Open My Eyes À Peine J'Ouvre Les Yeux Leyla Bouzid Tunisia
My Life as a Courgette Ma Vie de CourgetteClaude Barras  Switzerland
SelectionA WarKrigenTobias Lindholm Denmark
Things to ComeL'AvenirMia Hansen-Løve France
SieranevadaCristi Puiu Romania
Like CrazyLa pazza gioiaPaolo Virzi Italy
A Syrian Love StorySean McAllister United Kingdom
Letters from WarCartas da GuerraIvo Ferreira Portugal
SuntanArgyris Papadimitropoulos Greece
2017WinnerSami BloodSameblodAmanda Kernell Sweden[16]Swedish, South Sami
Top-3 ShortlistBPM (Beats per Minute)120 battements par minuteRobin Campillo FranceFrench
WesternValeska Grisebach GermanyGerman, Bulgarian
SelectionA CiambraJonas Carpignano ItalyItalian
GloryСлаваKristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov BulgariaBulgarian
HeartstoneHjartasteinnGuðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson IcelandIcelandic
King of the BelgiansPeter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth Belgium  United StatesEnglish, Flemish, French, Bulgarian
Summer 1993Estiu 1993Carla Simón SpainCatalan
The Last FamilyOstatnia rodzinaJan P. Matuszynski PolandPolish
The Other Side of HopeToivon tuolla puolenAki Kaurismäki FinlandFinnish, English, Arabic
2018WinnerWoman at WarKona fer í stríðBenedikt Erlingsson IcelandIcelandic, Spanish, English, Ukrainiansubmission
Top-3 ShortlistThe Other Side of EverythingDruga strana svegaMila Turajlić Serbia
StyxWolfgang Fischer Austria
SelectionBorderGränsAli Abbasi DenmarkSwedishsubmissionnomination
GirlLukas Dhont Belgium
MugTwarzMałgorzata Szumowska PolandPolish
Utøya: July 22Utøya 22. juliErik Poppe NorwayNorwegian
DonbassДонбасSergei Loznitsa UkraineRussian, Ukrainiansubmission
Happy as LazzaroLazzaro feliceAlice Rohrwacher ItalyItaliannomination
The Silence of OthersEl silencio de otrosAlmudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar Spain  United States
2019WinnerGod Exists, Her Name Is PetrunijaGospod postoi, imeto i' e PetrunijaTeona Strugar Mitevska North Macedonia
Top-3 ShortlistThe Realm El reinoRodrigo Sorogoyen SpainSpanish
Cold Case HammarskjöldMads Brügger Denmark
SelectionClergyKlerWojciech Smarzowski PolandPolish
Her JobI douleia tisNikos Labôt France
HoneylandTamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov North MacedoniaMacedonian, Turkish, Bosniansubmission
InvisiblesLes invisiblesLouis-Julien Petit FranceFrench
Ray & LizRichard Billingham United KingdomEnglish
System CrasherSystemsprengerNora Fingscheidt GermanyGermannomination
The Man Who Surprised EveryoneЧеловек, который удивил всехNatasha Merkulova, Aleksey Chupov RussiaRussian


YearResultEnglish titleOriginal titleDirectorNationality of Director
(at time of film's release)
LanguageAcademy Awards
Best Foreign Language Film
European Film Awards
Best Film
2020NominationAnother RoundDrukThomas Vinterberg DenmarkDanishwonwon
NominationCollectiveColectivAlexander Nanau RomaniaRomaniannominationwon (Best Documentary Film)
NominationCorpus ChristiBoże CiałoJan Komasa PolandPolishnominationnomination

See also


  1. Feuillère, Anne (24 October 2007). "First LUX Prize goes to Fatih Akin". Cineuropa. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  2. "And the LUX Prize for European cinema goes to... "Auf der anderen Seite"". European Parliament. 23 October 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  3. Karpati, Gyorgy (23 June 2008). "Lux Prize nominations: two films from Eastern Europe in the finale". Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  4. "IATE Term of the Week: LUX Prize". Terminology Coordination Unit. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  5. "Why and what". LUX Award. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  6. Varga Ferenc (24 July 2015). "Deutsch Tamás sem nézheti meg laptopon a Saul fiát". Origo.
  7. European Union (9 September 2020). "LUX prize will be awarded jointly by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy". The European Sting. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  8. "#LUXAward - Audiences and MEPs to choose the winning film". EUReporter. 10 September 2020. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  9. Selection process | LUX Audience Award (
  10. LUX Selection panel | LUX Audience Award
  11. Timeline and voting process | LUX Audience Award
  12. Homepage | LUX Audience Award
  13. European Parliament - News - Parliament's 2010 LUX Cinema Prize goes to "Die Fremde" Archived 2010-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  14. European Parliament - News - 2010 LUX Prize finalists Archived 2015-02-15 at the Wayback Machine
  15. European Parliament - News - “Toni Erdmann” - winner of the 10th LUX Film Prize
  16. European Parliament - News - The LUX Prize goes to Sámi Blood

Further reading