LUX Film Festival in Bath

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?

28 Times Cinema

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!

Speech from the LUX film festival

  • I am delighted to welcome you [the European Parliament Lux Film Prize reception and] this screening of Ray and Liz, one of the 10 films nominated for the Lux Film Prize for 2019.

My name is Judith Bunting and, some of you may know, I am a Member of the European Parliament and a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Education and Culture, which is responsible for financing and organising the Prix Lux.

  • You may be wondering why the European Parliament has a film prize?

Fiction and in particular the language of cinema Is well established as means of highlighting issues which face us all, From the Cathy Come Home through the Pelican Brief, to more recently I am Daniel BLAKE.

The LUX was created in part because the EU understands this and wants to encourage cinema as a platform for debate and reflection on Europe and the social, political, economic and environmental issues that we share.

It is a great form through which we can also examine our sense of a common European identity and our diversity.

The LUX prize was also set up to support the European film industry in practical terms. By promoting the distribution of major European (co-)productions beyond their national cinema markets.

We focus on distribution because we believe that this is the ‘Achilles heel’ of European cinema.

Unlike the largely unified North American market, the film industry in Europe faces organisational and economic difficulties, which are rendered even more difficult, of course, by the fabulous range of languages that we enjoy.

That is why the LUX Prize pays for the subtitling of the three shortlisted films into ALL 24 of the official languages of the European Union and screens them in all 28 Member states. We want European films to circulate beyond their national borders

In a couple of weeks, The winning film will be chosen by MEPs and the Lux prize will be awarded during the plenary session in Strasbourg in the presence of the film makers.

  • But Tonight …

I am not here to talk about them.

I am dleighted to be introducing to you; Ray and Liz, a UK entry to the competition From Richard BILLINGHAM which was one of the 10 nominees for the prize.

IF you would like to support Richard and the other British and European Film makers PLEASE go online and share trailesr and screening locations

I am honour bound to say, ALSO, If you really want to support the British Film industry- Please support the campaign to stop Brexit.

Being in the EU brings fantastic benefits to British Film and Media – so if you can please support your local remain candidate. working together we can still save the UK.

So, without further ado…

Many congratulations to Richard Billingham, the Director of RAY AND LIZ

And now – LET’S WATCH …