Buzek's speech for the 2011 Lux Prize
Introducing the winner of the European Parliament Lux Prize 2011, the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek stated:
"The Lux Prize has reached its fifth edition. The fifth anniversary of an event is always a good moment to reflect on where we are and sum up our achievements.
The European Parliament can be proud of the success of the Lux Prize. And I would like to thank all those who have made this project possible: from the Parliament staff to all the MEPs who have watched and voted in the competition.
Critics of the Lux prize could claim that we have already many Film Festivals in Europe, from Cannes to Venice, from Karlovy Vary to Sarajevo. But the European Parliament Lux Prize is unique among them: it looks at the critical question of what it means to be European today. No other film prize has such a marked - and successful - pan-European dimension!
Moreover, every year the competition becomes stronger and picking the winner more and more difficult. The three finalists of this year Attenberg, Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro, and Play are all of the highest quality. The three movies touch extremely burning issues: love, friendship, family, ideologies, identity, violence, unemployment, poverty and crisis. Cinema is a mirror of society and identity. It helps us reach a clearer and deeper understanding of who we are, where we are going and what we want, and most importantly, what the citizens want.
The European Parliament can be proud of the success of its Lux Prize, but we must set the bar higher for the role of European cinema worldwide. The EU does not want European cinema to be a niche between mainstream American productions and the rising Indian or Chinese cinema industries.
We need to help European productions compete in the XXI century. We must support European film-makers. We can do so by improving our financing schemes, pooling resources by favouring co-productions and tackling fragmentation in the distribution. We must also improve copyright protection - even if this might turn out to be very unpopular.
Europe is not only an economic superpower; it is also a cultural superpower. When we disregard our strength and unity, we undermine our actions.
The EP Lux Prize serves us as a reminder that what unites us is stronger than what divides us. It reminds us that the values, freedoms and even self-criticisms we share, are worth fighting for. It also reminds us that European movies have nothing to envy to non-European productions.
Our European cinema industry is a treasure, let's defend it.
And now I would like to announce the winner of the competition.
The 2011 European Parliament Lux Prize goes to Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro by Robert Guédiguian"
Note to editors:
For further information about the European Parliament Lux Prize: http://www.luxprize.eu
Lux Prize 2011: Spotlight on European Cinema: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/en/headlines/content/20111006FCS28448/html/LUX-prize-2011-spotlight-on-European-film
Robert A. Golański
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