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Brussels, 26 May 2008

EU-funded films sweep up the prestigious Palme d’0r and Grand Prize at Cannes

This was a good last day at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Amongst the films receiving honours at the awards ceremony yesterday night were 4 films funded by the EU’s Media Programme: “Entre Les Murs” directed by Laurent Cantet (France) won the Palme d'Or, whilst “Gomorra” directed by Matteo Garrone (Italy), swept up the Grand Prize of the festival. “Le silence de Lorna” directed by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (Belgium) won the prize for the best scenario, and the film "Tulpan", directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy (Kazahstan) was awarded the Prix Un Certain Regard. These films were amongst the 14 screened at the Festival that had been developed or distributed with support of more than €900.000 from the European Union's MEDIA programme (see IP/07/741 ).

“The awards from Cannes mark the climax of what has been a truly successful year for European filmmakers," said Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media. “I am very proud to see the high quality of films that Europeans are now able to produce. The support given by Europe's MEDIA programme to these award winners will now ensure that they can also be seen outside national and European borders.”

Europe’s MEDIA programme facilitates filmmakers’ access to financing and helps to increase the circulation of European audiovisual works all over the world. It is providing €755 million to Europe's film industry from 2007-2013 (IP/07/169). This year's 4 winning films alone have received a total of over €317.000 in support.

Almost 1800 films from 96 countries were competing for the 2008 awards ceremony at the Croisette; 22 of them were selected for the official Competition and 20 for "Un certain regard – Fondation GAN pour le Cinéma".

For 17 years now, the European Commission has been present at the Cannes film festival, this year with Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso and EU Media Commissioner Viviane Reding attending in person together with Ministers of Culture from 12 EU Member States and from Croatia. Together, they watched the film “Gomorra” directed by Matteo Garrone (Italy), which received the Grand Prize of the festival yesterday evening. In addition, a tribute was paid by the Commission and Ministers to Portuguese film-maker, Manoel de Oliveira, the last surviving maker of silent movies, who celebrates his 100th birthday this year and still continues to make films.

Aside from the official Festival awards, two MEDIA-funded films in "La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs" selection also received prizes yesterday night: Eldorado directed by Bouli Lanners (€51.500) received the "Label Europa Cinémas" Prize, the "Regards Jeunes" Prize, the "Prix de la critique internationale" and God's offices by Claire Simon (€16.000) received the "Société des Auteurs Compositeurs Dramatiques" Prize.

MEDIA-supported films have already triumphed at the Oscars this year, with the golden guys for The Counterfeiters (Die Fälscher/Austria-Germany) and for La vie en Rose (La Môme/France) (IP/08/298).

Further info on the EU’s MEDIA programme:

Prize winners at Cannes: see

The Cannes 2008 declaration of Culture Ministers is available at:
Further information on the new MEDIA MUNDUS initiative:

Annex 1: The 4 EU-Funded Films that won prizes at Cannes 2008

Winner of the Palme d'or

Entre Les Murs directed by Laurent Cantet (EU funding from MEDIA: €30.000)

– The story of a French teacher at a secondary school in a difficult area.

Winner of the Grand Prix

Gomorra directed by Matteo Garrone (EU funding from MEDIA: €45.000)

– A Neapolitan mafia drama based on a novel by Roberto Saviano.

Winner for the best Scenario

Le silence de Lorna directed by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (EU funding from MEDIA: €202,500)

– An Albanian woman marries a drug addict in order to obtain Belgian residency.

Winner of the prize “Un Certain Regard - Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma”

Tulpan, directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy (EU funding from MEDIA: €40.000).
– Bulat has done military service in the Russian Navy and returns to the Kazakh step to become a shepherd. For that, he has to learn the shepherding trade and get married.

In addition, 2 EU-funded films were rewarded in the "La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs" 2008 selection:

"Label Europa Cinémas" Prize/ "Regards Jeunes" Prize/ "Prix de la critique internationale"

Eldorado (aka Léa) directed by Bouli Lanners (€51.500)

– Yvan grows a strange affection for Elie, an adolescent who breaks into his house, and decides to drive the teenager back to his parents.

"Société des Auteurs Compositeurs Dramatiques" Prize

Les Bureaux de Dieu directed by Claire Simon (€16.000)

– Day-to-day functioning of the family planning centre where women come to inform themselves about a choice they have or want to make.

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