Cineuropa Prize Rules
- The Cineuropa Prize is given to a film that besides having indisputable artistic qualities also brings out the idea of European dialogue and integration
- The Prize is given by one or more qualified editors or collaborators chosen by Cineuropa and present at the Festival
- The Prize is given to a film produced or co-produced by a country participating in the MEDIA Programme or member of Eurimages
- The Prize consists of promotion on the Cineuropa site, including a special newsletter dedicated to the film (including a review, an interview with the director, and trailers and excerpts), which will be sent to our mailing list of over 50,000 subscribers.
The Prize is awarded at the following partner festivals:
Trieste Film Festival
Mons International Love Film Festival
Vilnius Film Festival - Kino Pavasaris
Lecce European Film Festival
Cinema City International Film Festival
Sarajevo International Film Festival
Istanbul Film Festival
Brussels Mediterranean Film Festival
Les Arcs European Film Festival
Florenc Papas's Open Door portrays the unmistakable social aspect of a patriarchal society of a poor country in transition, without forcing it beyond the needs of the screenplay, which is utterly economical. A film that is brilliantly played by the two lead actresses and that shows rural Albania in a particularly poetic way.
Visar Morina's Exile masterfully creates the sense of sweaty threat and unease, as in it, even a lethal combo of a dead rat and a stroller on fire proves to be the least of its protagonist’s worries. And it also shows how hard it is not to feel like “the other” sometimes – even in your own house.
Nova Lituania by Karolis Kaupinis, Vilnius International Film Festival - Kino Pavasaris 2020
Nova Lituania by Karolis Kaupinis is a film that relies an absurd yet elegant commentary on Europe’s colonial misadventures, showing the falsehood in the pretenses of colonizers as saviors or bringers of “civilization”, and how hard it is for a subaltern culture to keep its voice.
Oray by Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay is a film that relies heavily on an excellent blend of young talents and non-professional actors. Opting to depict his characters and their relationships with a naturalistic approach, the director weaves his tale with a precision rarely seen from a first-time filmmaker. Main actor Zejhun Demirov is literally spectacular, making the movie’s structure not only convincing, but also utterly enthralling.
How can anybody fail to love Andreas Horvath's Lillian, a portrait of a simultaneously vulnerable and determined woman who is on a symbolic quest for something indefinable, challenging herself and defying a billboard asserting that "girls don't hitchhike" in this visually striking road movie that brings a true story from the 1920s bang up to date? And how can anybody fail to admire the magnificent performance by visual artist Patrycja Płanik, the mise-en-scène of the solid documentary approach, and the almost obsessive tenacity with which the director pursued and realised this project?
Halina Reijn's Instinct boldly goes where few films dare to these days, with the help of two astonishing central performances, and proving there is more to life than political correctness.
Tunisia, summer 2011. The holiday to the South of the country ends in disaster for Fares, Meriem and their 10-year-old son Aziz, when he is accidentally shot in an ambush. His injury will change their lives: Aziz needs a liver transplant, which leads to discovery of a long-buried secret. Will Aziz and the relationship survive?
One night – seemingly just like any other. It’s November 9, 2019 – 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the regime change in Bulgaria. Three teams of police officers are patrolling the streets of Sofia, doing their job as they believe is right, while facing the challenges posed by contemporary Bulgarian reality.
The three stories within Genesis are rooted in the biblical notion of family: a woman in her late thirties rediscovers the faith she lost as a child; a mother goes to extreme lengths to ensure that her child is saved from the fate that she was forced to endure; a Roma boy's family are killed, and the perfect world of his childhood is destroyed. All three stories are based on real events that took place in Hungary: the Roma murders. The three protagonists are one way or another affected by these events, which change their lives fundamentally.
Animus Animalis by Aistė Žegulytė, Vilnius International Film Festival - Kino Pavasaris 2019
A taxidermist, a deer farmer and a museum employee guide us around a bizarre world, in which the line between reality and artificiality becomes imperceptible. Set up in fabricated nature’s glass-case, resembling their heart-beating “before,” the exhibited animals won’t stop observing us. The lifelike impression gradually gets stronger, only to collapse abruptly as reality kicks in. A movie that grasps, as the title implies, the soul of the animals.
A powerful new British film featuring a stand-out performance from newcomer Liv Hill, who stars as 15-year-old Sarah Taylor, a girl caught between being bullied at school, hassled by her boss at a local arcade and looking after her younger brother, sister and manic-depressive mother (the excellent Sinead Matthews). Sarah’s drama teacher encourages her to use her fierce wit for a stand-up routine at her graduation show, but comedy and the harsh realities of her life soon clash and she struggles to balance her many demands.
Vlada works as a truck driver during the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. Tasked with transporting a mysterious load from Kosovo to Belgrade, he drives through unfamiliar territory, trying to make his way in a country scarred by the war. He knows that once the job is over, he will need to return home and face the consequences of his actions.
ANIARA is the story of one of the many spaceships used for transporting Earth's population to their new home-planet Mars. But just as ANIARA leaves the ruined Earth, she collides with an asteroid and is knocked off her course. ANIARA's passengers slowly realize that they'll never be able to return; they will continue onwards through an empty and cold universe forever. The Swedish Nobel prize winner Harry Martinsson wrote ANIARA in 1956. The novel has been translated into a number of different languages, including danish, finnish, english, russian, czech, arabic, japanese and most recently chinese. It has been staged as opera and several theatrical productions, but has never before been filmed. In ANIARA's inexorable journey towards destruction there is a warning that cannot be emphasized enough. There's only one Earth. We have only one life. So, we have to take responsibility for our actions and constantly guard our environment and our humanity. If we don't, Earth will soon be a paradise lost.
Kusköy Village, Black Sea mountains, Turkey. Sibel, 25, who became dumb during childhood, is only able to communicate by whistling. She is not married, she lives with her father, and the villagers consider her disabled. To make up for her loneliness, Sibel kills herself doing field work. One day she meets a deserter from the Turkish army hiding in the forest. For the first time, a new perspective comes to Sibel: what if she was also a woman?
Love 1: Dog
People never lose their need to love, not even when they have stopped seeking meaning in their relationship with the others. An unusually lonely man ends up loving a woman. She turns his world upside down and makes him enjoy, with violence, despair and anger, the fact that he is alive. A film about love.
The Party's Over
Céleste and Sihem arrived on the same day in a rehab facility, and they’re going to seal an indestructible friendship. It will be as much a force as an obstacle when, expelled from their shelter, they are left on their own, facing the true world and its temptations. The real fight will then begin; fight for sobriety and freedom, fight towards life.
A hard-working farmer, desperate due to the harsh reality of his daily struggle, is determined to have his son take over the farm and continue his legacy. The mother tries her best to keep the family together, but with increasing horror the son witnesses his father's psychotic behaviour escalate. He seeks refuge elsewhere but he can't escape the inevitable.
Soldiers. Story from Ferentari
Adi moves to Ferentari, most notorious outcasted neighborhood in Bucharest, to write a study on manele music. While researching his subject, Adi meets Alberto, a Roma ex-convict and a bear of a man, who promises Adi to help him. Soon, the unlikely pair begins a playful romance in which Adi feeds Alberto with improbable plans of escaping poverty and Alberto reciprocates with well-concocted phrases of love.
Roos visits her mother in the remote winter landscape of Norway yearly, but this time it's different: she brings bad news. However, old pain and numerous reproaches keep Roos from sharing anything with her mother. Aided by her half brother and her old flame, the two women reconcile and Roos is able to make her next and inescapable step. (Film Focus)
Beauty and the Dogs
Beauty and the Dogs by Kaouther Ben Hania, Cinémamed - Brussels Mediterranean Film Festival 2017
Mariam just wanted to enjoy the night, when a tragic event occurs. Despite the trauma, the pretty tunisian student is determined to go to the police. But what can be done when your persecutor is your only chance? (Film Focus)
A 50-year-old housewife, Manana, struggles with her dilemma - she has to choose between her family life and her passion, writing, which she had repressed for years - she decides to follow her passion and plunges herself into writing, sacrificing to it mentally and physically. (Film Focus)
When the Day Had No Name
Day before Easter 2012, perfectly lined up bodies of four teenagers, each with a bullet hole in their head, were found near a lake just outside Skopje, Macedonian capital. They just went fishing. The nation was shocked. The rumors run wild. It is a film about a country where life can cease suddenly without a cause, as it is lived.
It’s summertime in Athens and Nikos, a 30-year-old broke musician, is taking care of a luxurious villa in the suburbs that belongs to a friend of his. Between poolside cocktails and fooling around with the dog that he is meant to take care of, Nikos has a plan. Still unable to get over his recent break-up with Sofia, he figures this is a unique opportunity to get some much-needed answers and he invites her over for the weekend. (Film Focus)
Rural England, 1865. Katherine is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, whose family are cold and unforgiving. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker on her husband’s estate, a force is unleashed inside her, so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. (Film Focus)
Park by Sofia Exarchou, Cinémamed - Brussels Mediterranean Film Festival 2016
Athens Olympic Village, ten years after the Games. A group of boys wander around the ruins playing distorted versions of Olympic games and organizing dog matings for money. (Film Focus)
A couple in their late 30’s sets out to prepare a fake photo album of a pseudo pregnancy period in order to prove their biological tie to the baby they’re planning adopt. (Film Focus)
A penniless, young couple have trouble consummating their fledgling relationship in their parents' homes, forcing their relationship into question as they try to break free from the shackles of a crumbling economy. (Film Focus)
Sarmaşık aims to sail to her loading port in Egypt to carry goods to Angola. When the ship arrives in Egypt, it becomes clear that the ship owner has not paid the port fee and that the ship has been foreclosed. Port authority officials pull the ship to the anchorage zone. A team of 6 people will need to stay on board in case the ship has to be moved while there: a machinist, an officer, two sailors, a cook, and a master sailor. As their passports are seized, the crew starts to wait on Egyptian shores for an indefinite period of time. Small conflicts grow into big fights as the food and beverage supplies run out and the ship turns into a battlefield where men hunt men.
Nesrin and Hatun are two Kurdish cleaning women living in Istanbul. While Nesrin tries to survive with her little daughter in the big city, trying to understand why her husband left her, Hatun dreams of buying a house in the districts where she goes to clean.
The Here After
When John returns home to his father after serving time in prison, he is looking forward to start his life afresh. However in the local community, his crime is neither forgotten nor forgiven. John’s presence brings out the worst in everyone around him and a lynch-mob atmosphere slowly takes shape. Feeling abandoned by his former friends and the people he loves, John loses hope and the same aggressions that previously sent him to prison start building up again. Unable to leave the past behind, he decides to confront it.
Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)
The bold feature debut by French filmmaker Eva Husson explores the sexual exploits and awakenings of a group of teenagers on the beaches (and in the beds) of Biarritz.
The story of ten-year-old Nori plays out in Kosovo, Germany, and on the road between the two countries. His father Gezim dominates his entire world, however, one day he leaves for work in the “West” and Nori won’t be placated concerning his sudden disappearance.
Gabi Kovanda, supermarket employee, leads an ordinary life between family and job, between single-family home and local food store. One day when Gabi comes home from work something happens that changes her life in a single moment. It isn’t visible, it makes no sound, and yet it strikes her like a bolt from the sky – an encounter with God. A person is snubbed by their own existence. Without external cause, without hardship. How do you cope with it? And how do your surroundings cope with it?
Liza, the Fox-Fairy
Liza, a timid nurse takes care of Marta, the widow of a Japanese Ambassador to Hungary for 12 years. On her 30th birthday Liza goes to a McDonald's to find romance. During her short leave Marta gets killed by Liza's imaginary friend, Toni Tani, a late Japanese pop singer from the 70's. Relatives report Liza to the police, for murdering Marta to inherit her apartment. Ensign Zoltan is put on the case. The policeman moves into Liza's apartment as a lodger to keep an eye on his suspect. Zoltan secretly repairs all the faulty household equipments, suffering close to lethal accidents while falling in love with Liza.
Dora or The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents
When her mother decides to stop administering medication to her mentally challenged daughter, 18-year-old Dora awakes, as if from a deep sleep. Dora discovers her body, her sensuality and finally, sex, too. Her parents are shocked by Dora’s sudden unbridled lust for life and, when she gets involved with a man she meets at her market stall vendor job, they are furious. Seeing her relationship as unscrupulous and abusive, they demand their daughter stops seeing her lover. But their efforts are to no avail and, when Dora’s affair leads to a more serious situation, everyone has to reassess the limits of their relationship to each other, and reconsider such topics as self-determination, trust and jealousy.
After years spent studying at home, disabled Lena is keen to get back to school. The attitude of the teachers in charge of the special needs class, however, soon fills her with cruel disenchantment. Debut director Ivan Tverdovsky avoids embellishment to unfold an entirely credible drama portraying the unequal struggle of the individual in the face of institutional torpor, human prejudice and a society that tries to trip up people who are different.
We're in the middle of a heat-wave in Fenland, England. Goob Taylor has spent each of his sixteen summers helping Mum run the transport cafe and harvest the surrounding pumpkin fields. When Mum shacks up with swarthy stock-car driving supremo and ladies' man Gene Womack, Goob becomes an unwelcome side thought. However Goob's world turns when exotic pumpkin picker Eva arrives. Fuelled by her flirtatious comments, Goob dreams of better things.
Barbarians by Ivan Ikic, Festival de Cinéma Méditerranéen de Bruxelles 2014
Feb 17th 2008. Kosovo declares independence and Serbian government announces mass protests, so people could express their discontent. Luka, a troubled teenager on the verge of adulthood, lives in Mladenovac, a ruined ex-industrial town on the brinks of Belgrade, where, with his best friend Flash, he is a leader of local football club fans. During an unannounced visit by the social worker, Luka is faced with a family secret that his father, who was believed to had disappeared in Kosovo conflicts, is in fact alive and asking for him.
Angels of Revolution
There’s something rotten in the north of the soviet union. The Shamans of the two native peoples, the Khanti and the Forrest Nenets, have no intention of signing on to the new ideology. To reconcile two such very different cultures, six artists leave for Siberia to reach the forests around the Ob River. Led by “Polina the revolutionary”, theysoon find themselves between a rock and a hard place: the revolution brewing like a vat of cider vs a world of dogs with wings, mischevious angels and heart shaped potatoes, all imune to the dictates of the new regime.
Three Windows and a Hanging
A critical view of a society which survived the war, won its independence but still struggles with human equality. An insightful portrait of a Balkan village, of a patriarchal microcosm, and of its mayor who desperately wants to control the village life. Of husbands who feel forced to behave strong, but act against their own emotional interest. A reflection of rituals which not only show gender inequality, but also the absence of freedom of expression within the male community.
Two girls 'sneak' into the biggest music festival of Hungary. Betty and “W” are both 16. They’re at the threshold of adulthood. They want to party, and cross all boundaries in one night.
The director is preparing a new film. A well-known actor he wants to engage to play the role of the Father criticizes his screenplay and the selection of the actor for the role of the Son. The director invites the “Son” to come to the island of Vis to work on the screenplay and the role and to be sure that he has made the right choice when choosing him for the role. Due to the isolation they are confronted with on the island during winter season, the two of them are doomed to come to grips with their frustrations that are constantly being intertwined with the plot in a strange way.
Tucked in between the airport, motorway and the banks of the Danube in the Viennese district of Simmering, an entire world of its own has emerged behind walls of corrugated iron and barracks: Macondo, a settlement of refugees where about 3,000 asylum-seekers from 22 different countries are housed. One of them is eleven-year-old Ramasan who has come here from Chechnya with his mother and two younger sisters. His father was killed in the conflict with the Russians, at least that’s what he's been told. Ramasan tries his best to take his father’s place – for instance by looking after his sisters or tucking his mother’s stray hair back underneath her headscarf. But then a brooding man named Isa, a friend of Ramasan’s father from the old days, suddenly arrives in Macondo and Ramasan's life is thrown into disarray.
Come To My Voice
In a remote Kurdish village in the mountains little Jiyan is worried about her father who has been arrested by the Turkish police as a suspected guerilla. He will only be released when his family surrenders his gun. The problem is: he has never possessed one. And so Jiyan’s grandmother Berfé has no choice but to set off in search of a weapon. A long march on foot leads Berfé and Jiyan through breathtakingly beautiful mountains to their relatives and beyond, into the unknown. On their journey Berfé displays courage and tenacity and Jiyan learns what it takes to survive in the adult world.
Due to a huge difference in the way they perceive life, the relationship between the students and their new German language teacher becomes critically tense. When one of the students commits suicide, her classmates accuse the teacher of being responsible for her death. The realisation that things are not so black and white comes too late.
The Strange Little Cat
Siblings Karin and Simon are visiting their parents and their little sister Clara. That evening, other relatives will be joining them for dinner. This sequence of seemingly unspectacular family scenes in a Berlin flat creates a wondrous world and an exciting choreography of the everyday.
Peace After Marriage
Arafat, a thirty year old Arab New Yorker, lives at home with his parents who are desperate to find him a Muslim bride. Horny and lonely, he tries the New York dating scene with zero luck. Then he meets Kenny, a smooth talking single New Yorker who becomes his wingman. According to Kenny the only solution for Arafat is to move out of his parents house. With no money or job, Arafat can't afford to move out. Then Kenny proposes an idea: a Green Card marriage for money! But with an Israeli girl…
In Sarajevo, more than a decade after the war, while her socialist family is falling apart, Berina, a young artist, is trying to live out her just discovered sexuality and, at the same time, accept her mother’s terminal illness.
In the sixteenth century, somewhere in the Cevennes, Michael Kohlhaas, a prosperous horse merchant, leads a comfortable and happy family life. Victim of an injustice, this righteous and honest man raises an army and plunders cities to restore his right.
An adaptation of the international best seller by Yasmina Khadra. The film focuses on the moral dilemma faced by an Arab-Israeli surgeon when the police inform him that his wife has carried out a suicide bombing that has killed nineteen people.
The Dead and the Living
The personal journey of young Sita is not only an expedition into her family's burdened past during World War 2. It is also a journey to the abyss of modern European society, a trip which takes her from Berlin - about losing one's homeland and discovering oneself, about hope and responsibility.
Nabil Ayouch retraces the convincing and impressive tale of a group of young boys from the Sidi Moumen slum in Casablanca who end up becoming terrorists, or martyrs, as their spiritual mentors would call them.
Dorcy, a young black Christian, wants to marry Sabrina, a young North African. It what would be a simple matter if it weren't for the fact that Sabrina has 40 brothers and that this easygoing wedding has crystallized a taboo still rooted in the mentalities of the two communities: no marriages between Blacks and Arabs.
The Fifth Season
A mysterious calamity strikes a village deep in the Ardennes: spring refuses to come. The cycle of nature is capsized. Relationship deteriorate. Alice, Thomas and octave, three kids in the village, struggle to make sense of the world that is collapsing around them.
Children of Sarajevo
Rahima (23) and Nermin (14) are orphans of the Bosnian war. Their life of bare survival becomes even more difficult after Nedim gets into a fistfight at school with the son of a local strongman. This incident triggers a chain of events leading Rahima to the discovery that her young brother leads a double life…
Death for Sale
Three young men decide to rob a jewellery store. They are among the hopelessly unemployed street population of Morocco’s provincial cities, common thugs in the eyes of many but bound by solidarity and friendship. They see the heist as a means to break out of a cycle of poverty that weighs on their destiny like a life sentence.
The story of a birth turns into being the story of an absence. A young woman’s battle against postpartum depression viewed with her claustrophobic feelings. At the same time her existence is being sucked into a large vacuum.
Julio and Julia wake up in Julia’s apartment, hungover and unsure how they met. Suddendly, they see Madrid’s skyline dotted with spaceships. Julia’s neighbour, Ángel, explains that there’s been an exodus of people fleeing the city. When Julia’s boyfriend Tipo shows up, Julia and Julio convince him that Ángel is an alien and must be ejected.
A Better Life
Guillaume Canet and Leïla Bekhti in the spiral of excessive debt. Love, dreams and economic survival brilliantly dramatised. Best Actor Award at the Rome Film Festival and Cineuropa Award at Estoril.
A chance love-at-first-sight encounter and luminous road movie in a bleak Bulgaria. A debut feature unveiled at Cannes and winner of the Cineuropa Award at Sarajevo.
A Quiet Life
Claudio Cupellini’s second film is also his most accomplished. After earning Best Actor at the Rome fest for Toni Servillo, the film won the Cineuropa Award at the Brussels Film Festival.
An intense feature debut by Albania’s Bujar Alimani, winner of the Jury Special Prize, the Fipresci Prize and the Cineuropa Award at the 2011 Lecce Festival of European Film.
The lives of two small town friends in Serbia who share a love for skateboard culture. Their friendship will be shaken following the visit of a friend, who has immigrated to France. The film is partially inspired by the lives of the two lead actors, whom Lezaic discovered in their videos on YouTube.
Prostitution is filtered through the fantastical mind of an Eastern European woman in Szabolcs Hajdu’s fourth feature.
Chico & Rita
Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal and Tono Errando tell a passionate love story in their musical animated film for adults combining digital and hand-drawn images.
A frightening, claustrophobic thriller by a Swedish duo with a brilliant command of genre cinema. Winner of the Cineuropa Award at the Brussels Film Festival 2010.
Desperados on the Block
A 19-story building in Munich housing 2,500 students from the world over serves as a microcosm for thousands of lonely lives whose paths cross every day in Europe's cities.
A masterful and merciless debut feature on the trivialization of murder in times of war. A film unveiled at Cannes and selected at around 15 international festivals
First of All, Felicia
A promising debut feature co-directed by an Irish filmmaker and Romanian screenwriter, which won the Cineuropa Award at the 2009 Estoril Festival