Brussels, 13 May 2013
Danish director Vinterberg wins Prix MEDIA at Cannes Film Festival
Acclaimed Danish film director Thomas Vinterberg is the winner of the 2013 European Union Prix MEDIA. The prize is awarded to the best new film project with box-office potential eligible for support from the EU MEDIA programme for cinema. The award will be presented to Vinterberg by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, 19 May - the director's 44th birthday. Vinterberg shares the award with co-writer Tobias Lindholm and his producers Sisse Graum and Morten Kaufmann for their new film project Kollektivet (The Commune), which tells the story of life in a Danish commune in the 1970s. The film, produced by Danish production company Zentropa, will be made next year. The award ceremony, which is open to media, takes place in the Palais des festivals (Café des Palmes) at 11:30.
"Development is such a vital and hugely creative part of the film process. It is great to have an institution like the MEDIA programme of the European Union that acknowledges and supports film-making at its most delicate stage," said Vinterberg.
"This is a thoroughly deserved award for one of Europe's most exciting directorial talents. Thomas's films are never ordinary: always thought-provoking, beautifully told and beautifully acted. He's not afraid to take risks and, after the worldwide success of his 2012 masterpiece Jagten, we all eagerly look forward to his next release. I am also thrilled to see that the film project which won the inaugural EU Prix MEDIA in 2012, Le Passé by Asghar Farhadi, was selected for this year's official competition at Cannes," said Commissioner Vassiliou.
Vinterberg, who is the President of the jury for the 'Un Certain Regard' selection at this year's festival, first came to worldwide prominence with his 1998 film Festen (The Celebration), which won a multitude of awards including the Special Jury Prize at Cannes. The film was released without an official director's credit, in line with the principles of the avant-garde 'Dogme 95' film movement, formed by Vinterberg and fellow film-makers Lars von Trier, Kristian Levring, and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen. Vinterberg's success with Festen was followed by The Third Lie (2000), It's All About Love (2003), Dear Wendy (2004), When a Man Comes Home (2007) and Submarino (2010). His last film, Jagten, which received € 100 000 from MEDIA for development and distribution, was also a major success, earning Mads Mikkelsen the best actor award at Cannes last year.
EU Prix MEDIA
The European Union's Prix MEDIA is awarded to the best project with box-office potential submitted for development funding from the MEDIA programme in 2013. The work may be fictional, an animated film or a documentary but must be for cinema release. Development costs which are eligible for support under MEDIA include preparing the scenario, seeking and identifying the main actors and staff and preparing the financing plan, initial marketing and a pilot production. The winner is selected by a panel of independent experts and representatives of the European Commission and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, which manages the MEDIA programme.
European Rendezvous in Cannes
The annual 'European Rendezvous' at Cannes will take place on 19-20 May. The Rendezvous is the main focus of events linked to the MEDIA programme and an opportunity for Commissioner Vassiliou to meet film professionals and policy-makers. The Commissioner will address a seminar on strengthening the cultural exception, hosted by the French national film institute (CNC, centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée) at 10am on 20 May, followed by a European Commission roundtable on cinema and other forms of art (10:30-noon).
Creative Europe – the future of the MEDIA programme.
2014 marks the start of a new era for MEDIA as part of the 'Creative Europe' programme. The new programme will continue to provide grants to support film development, training and distribution, as well as launching a new loan guarantee fund aimed at making it easier for the cultural and creative sectors to access finance. The MEDIA programme helps film-makers to gain international exposure and increases the competitiveness of the European film industry. Creative Europe is expected to have an overall budget of around € 1.3 billion in 2014-2020, an increase of nearly 9% compared with the existing MEDIA and Culture programmes.
For more information
European Commission: MEDIA
Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter: @VassiliouEU