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Mary Honeyball • British MEP

LUX Prize 2012

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- "LUX Prize is the only film prize that specifically looks at films, which explore political and cultural issues relevant to everyone throughout the EU"

Mary Honeyball • British MEP

Cineuropa interviews the British Member of the European Parliament Mary Honeyball a week before the winner of the LUX Prize of the European Parliament is announced in Strasbourg.

Cineuropa: How important do you think the European Parliament LUX Prize is in the European context and why?
Mary Honeyball: The European Parliament LUX Prize is incredibly important for European film. It’s the only film prize that specifically looks at films, which explore political and cultural issues relevant to everyone throughout the EU. There is nothing else that does this on such a wide scale. The prize seeks to reward filmmakers who look to collaborate with other filmmakers from across European, allowing them to transcend borders.

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In your opinion, what do you think is the place of cinema in the lives of Europeans, especially home grown European cinema?
Europe is the birthplace of cinema. Some of history’s greatest filmmakers come from across Europe. Despite the tough economic times we are in, and especially in the UK where the film industry has been hit hard by cuts, the industry has managed to continue to thrive and is established as an important part of Europe’s cultural heritage.

How important do you think governmental and institutional support (for example national film institutes like the British Film Institute (BFI), European Parliament initiatives, the MEDIA programme etc) is for the continuing good health of European film and culture?
Of course such programmes as you’ve outlined are incredibly important. In the UK for example the BFI has worked tirelessly not only to maintain Britain’s cultural cinematic heritage by archiving and restoring old prints, but also looks to fund and develop the current British film industry both now and in the future. Organisations that have a strong sense of the past but an equally strong vision for the future are fundamental to continue and develop the good health of European cinema.

You are a known votary of Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. What is your opinion of women's representation in the European film industries? Is parity close to being achieved or is there much more ground to be covered? What would you like to see changed in this regard in the world of cinema and culture and how do you think these can be achieved?
While women’s representation in the film industry has increased, there is still much more it can do. The disparity between men and women in film is an issue, which institutions such as the BFI and the MEDIA Programme should be looking to tackle.

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