President David Sassoli awarded the 2021 LUX Audience Award to Collective during a ceremony in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
“After the period we have just lived through, the need for people to come together, not only in spaces made for debate, but also in places like cinemas, is growing and urgent," said Sassoli during the ceremony, which took place in Strasbourg as well as online.
Director and producer Alexander Nanau accepting the award paid tribute to the victims and families involved in the tragedy and the independent press that uncovered it. “We want to fight corruption in Europe and we want a free press," he said. "Societies do not evolve if we do not have culture education and free press. It is your duty to support our citizens and to regulate spending on culture and education and to protect journalism."
Check out our Facebook live with Alexander Nanau and Mihai Grecea, who were involved in creating Collective
About the winning film
Collective by Romanian director Alexander Nanau (original title Colectiv)
This stirring documentary is titled after a nightclub in Bucharest where a fire killed 27 young people in 2015 and left 180 wounded. The documentary follows a team of journalists who investigate why 37 of the burn victims died in hospitals, although their wounds were not life threatening. They uncover terrifying nepotism and corruption that cost lives, but also show that brave and determined people can reverse corrupt systems.
Collective was nominated for an Oscar in the best international feature and best documentary categories this year.
Read more about the LUX Audience Award nominees
The final ranking was determined by combining the average rating from the public vote and the vote by MEPs, with each group weighing 50%.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the creative and cinema industry hard. Cinema screenings of the three finalists were limited, and were primarily replaced by online screenings and events. Audiences could rate the films until 23 May, MEPs until 8 June.
LUX Audience Award
With the LUX Audience Award, a unique pan-European audience prize, Parliament teams up with the European Film Academy to reach a wider audience and to continue to strengthen the links between people and politics. Through its film prize, Parliament has been supporting the distribution of European films since 2007, by providing subtitles in 24 EU languages for the films in final contention. The LUX prize has garnered a reputation by selecting European co-productions that engage with topical political and social issues and encourage debate about values.