Hi there! Chris from Judith’s team here.
On Thursday, I had the chance to attend the FilmBath Festival with Judith. This festival is held to showcase the wide-ranging diversity of films made across the world. I love blockbusters, don’t get me wrong, but it’s amazing to see something out of the ordinary. They showcase foreign films, films directed by women, and support young people getting into making films.
Now, why would an MEP be specifically supporting a film festival?
The film shown that evening was nominated for the LUX Prize, which is an EU project to help smaller films reach a wider audience across the continent. Many smaller films find it hard to gain international audiences, as it takes time and effort to market them internationally, especially if there are languages barriers. This is where the LUX prize steps in – it highlights these films and helps them get shown internationally. The top 3 films as selected by a panel of experts are translated into all 24 official working languages of the EU.
This evening, they showed a film called Ray & Liz, which is the first feature-length film by British artist and photographer, Richard Billingham. It depicts his childhood, filled with poverty, neglect and depression in a high-rise on the outskirts of Birmingham. For a full review, read here, or here.
It was great to see such support for the event, with a really full cinema. Judith spoke to the audience before the screening, discussing the importance of pan-European co-operation; without it, many of these films would never make it out of their own country. Distribution is the ‘Achilles heel’ of the film industry and this film prize tackles it head on! We will lose access to this project if we leave the EU.
The films are going on tour from now through February 2020. New dates appear in the UK as they find locations, so check in to see when they are appearing near you!