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Eurimages sets up co-production prize

Award goes to Menegoz, Heiduschka

BERLIN — European co-productions are finally getting their dues at this year’s European Film Awards with the introduction of the Prix Eurimages.

Created by European film subsidy org Eurimages, the award acknowledges “the decisive position that co-production occupies within the European film industry,” the European Film Academy said Thursday.

The first Prix Eurimages will go to France’s Margaret Menegoz and Austria’s Veit Heiduschka, who the EFA described as “two producers who have distinguished themselves by contributing in an important manner to the development and promotion of European cinema, notably through co-production.”

Menegoz, the head of film org Unifrance, has been managing director of Paris-based producer-distrib Les Films du Losange since 1975. The company was established in 1962 by Barbet Schroeder and Eric Rohmer. Her credits include films such as Wim Wenders’ “The American Friend,” Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Chinese Roulette,” Volker Schloendorff’s “Swann in Love” and Michael Haneke’s European Film Award winner “Hidden.”

“President of Unifrance, member of the French-German Film Academy, the Association of Film Exporters and the Conseil d’Administration de la Cinematheque francaise, Margaret Menegoz has constantly worked for the promotion of European cinema,” the Academy said.

As founder and managing director of Vienna-based Wega Film, Heiduschka has produced nearly 50 films for both television and cinema, including most of Haneke’s works, among them “Hidden,” “The Time of the Wolf,” “The Piano Teacher” and “Funny Games.”

The 20th European Film Awards ceremony will take place in Berlin on Dec. 1.

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