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Youth-Themed Pix Dominate Europe’s LUX Prize Competition

The official selection of the LUX Prize, which was unveiled Sunday at the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival, is dominated by pics that focus on the challenges facing Europe’s youth.

The pics short-listed for the prize, which is intended to showcase the “richness, diversity and excellence of European cinema,” includes five films centering on young people.

The youth-skewed films are Panos H. Koutras’ “Xenia” (Greece, France, Belgium), Jaime Rosales’ “Hermosa Juventud” (Beautiful Youth) (Spain, France), Celine Sciamma’s “Bande de Filles” (Girlhood) (France), Alice Rohrwacher’s “Le Meraviglie” (The Wonders) (Italy, Switzerland, Germany), and Rok Bicek’s “Razredni Sovraznik” (Class Enemy) (Slovenia).

Two other pics had younger people in prominent roles: Kornel Mundruczo’s “Feher Isten” (White God) (Hungary, Germany, Sweden) and Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Ida” (Poland, Denmark).

The other selected pics were Dietrich Brueggemann’s “Kreuzweg” (Stations of the Cross) (Germany, France), Sudabeh Mortezai’s “Macondo” (Austria) and Ruben Ostlund’s “Turist” (Force Majeure) (Sweden, Denmark, France, Norway).

Two of the pics were directed by first-time feature helmers, Mortezai and Bicek.

The audience special mention, voted online by the public, went to Felix Van Groeningen’s “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” which won last year’s LUX Prize. It was closely followed by Valeria Golino’s “Miele” and Clio Barnard’s “The Selfish Giant.”

Among the voters, Iveta Kollarova from Slovakia was selected at random and invited to Karlovy Vary to announce the audience mention.

The 10-film official selection was assembled by a panel of industry insiders, and was revealed by Doris Pack, coordinator of the LUX Prize, Olga Sehnalova, member of the European Parliament, and Karel Och, Karlovy Vary artistic director.

A three film short-list will be revealed in Rome at the end of July, and then will compete for the top prize. All three will be subtitled into 24 European languages and screened in all 28 member states of the European Union as part of the LUX Film Days.

The LUX Prize will be decided by members of the European Parliament, and will be awarded on Dec. 17 in Strasbourg. The winning film will also be made available for the visually and hearing impaired.

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