The 2020 EUFA goes to Saudi Runaway
- The European University Film Award (EUFA) is organised by Filmfest Hamburg and the European Film Academy
In the context of the digital award ceremony "The EFAs at Eight" on Thursday evening, the film Saudi Runaway [+see also:
film profile] (Switzerland, 2020) was awarded the European University Film Award (EUFA), which is organised by Filmfest Hamburg and the European Film Academy. The European University Film Award ceremony came at the end of a three-day conference attended by students from 25 European universities who voted on the nominated films.
Saudi Runaway centres on the story of Muna, a young woman about to enter into an arranged marriage, who secretly starts filming herself and the events around her with her smartphone. Director Susanne Regina Meures carefully assembles these scenes into an oppressive interior view of a patriarchal system.
The jury explained in its statement that "through Muna’s eyes, Saudi Runaway’s 'vlogumentary' style offers an intimate and engaged portrayal of life as a young woman in Saudi Arabia and the multitude of opposites that affect it: modernity and tradition, family love and trauma, duty and the right to choose. Susanne Regina Meures captivates us through the creative treatment of a medium we all possess, revealing its potential for a widespread empowerment. By breaking cinematic conventions and evading the clichés of the western gaze, Muna’s secretive cinematography oscillates the audience between witness and eavesdropper. Uncertainty and tension are palpable throughout, but linger long after: Muna is merely one of many."
Albert Wiederspiel, Festival Director of Filmfest Hamburg, added: "The European University Film Award focuses on the exchange between young film enthusiasts. By selecting Saudi Runaway, the jurors have chosen a film that looks beyond the borders of Europe. It shows that European films do not only have to deal with the situation in Europe."
Twenty-five universities from 25 European countries are involved in the European University Film Award, each sending a delegate to the conference, where the nominated films are discussed and the winner is voted on. The previous winners of the European University Film Awards are: Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire [+see also:
interview: Céline Sciamma
film profile]; Alice Rohrwacher's Happy as Lazzaro [+see also:
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
film profile]; Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson's Heartstone [+see also:
interview: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
film profile]; Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake [+see also:
The European University Film Award is organised by Filmfest Hamburg and the European Film Academy in close cooperation with the NECS European Network for Cinema and Media Studies and funded by the Minister of State for Culture and the Media on the occasion of Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020. Cineuropa is a media partner.