Despite the exceptional weather conditions cased by Storm Emma, as well as the outbreak of a flu virus, the Luxembourg City Film Festival saw over 30,000 attendees at the 11-day festival that concluded on Sunday 4 March 2018, a number that is comparable to previous years.
The success was partly contributed to the Outside-the-Walls events, exhibitions and move of the Festival Headquarters – including the VR Pavilion – to the Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain.
The winning film of the 2018 festival is FOXTROT by Samuel Maoz, taking home the GRAND PRIX BY ORANGE prize worth €10,000. This was joined in the winners' enclosure by OVER THE LIMIT by Marta Prus (DOCUMENTARY AWARD by BGL BNP PARIBAS, €5,000) and GUTLAND by Govinda van Maele (AUDIENCE AWARD BY ORANGE). SWEET COUNTRY (Warwick Thornton) took home the CRITICS’ AWARD, LEAN ON PETE (Andrew Haigh) the YOUTH JURY AWARD (worth €2,000) and CLOUDBOY received the KIDS JURY AWARD. THE KIDS’ FESTIVAL FAVOURITE went to MENG KOLLEGEN AUS DEM ALL (LUIS AND THE ALIENS) by Christoph Lauenstein and Wolfgang Lauenstein (co-directed by Sean McCormack). The jury also chose to present special mentions to: PITY by BABIS MAKRIDIS (GRAND PRIX BY ORANGE), LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE by Gustavo Salmerón (DOCUMENTARY AWARD BY BGL BNP PARIBAS), and OVER THE LIMIT by Marta Prus (YOUTH JURY AWARD).
GRAND PRIX BY ORANGE: FOXTROT by Samuel Maoz; Special Mention: PITY by Babis Makridis
INTERNATIONAL JURY: Atom Egoyan (President), Bruce McDonald, Anne Seibel, Leonor Silveira, Stéphan Roelants. "The Jury was very impressed by the general quality of the Competition and has come to two unanimous choices. For its superbly controlled tone and innovative use of classic devices – such as the chorus –, we discovered a truly perverse and unexpected Greek tragedy. We unanimously award our honourable mention to PITY. For the Grand Prix by Orange we have chosen the brilliant Israeli film FOXTROT which excels in every aspect to tell a powerful and haunting tale about the loss of innocence, both at a personal, familial, and, most provocatively, at a state level. Well done!”
DOCUMENTARY AWARD BY BGL BNP PARIBAS: OVER THE LIMIT by Marta Prus; Special mention: LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE de Gustavo Salmerón
DOCUMENTARY JURY: Mimi Plauché (President), Erfan Rashid, Luke W. Moody, Tomás Baltazar, Yaara Ozery. “It was our pleasure to serve on the Documentary Jury here at the Luxembourg City Film Festival. It was a very difficult decision to come to a consensus, so many great films to choose from. For its joyful portrait of a larger-than-life character, director Gustavo Salmerón’s own mother, Julia, whose captivating performance and joie-de-vivre envelop all around her and, in turn, the audience, a special mention goes to LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE. This film is an unconventional and aesthetically astute sports documentary portraying a young woman balancing athletic commitment with personal endurance. It’s a singular vision, identifying a fragile character, following her through a powerful transition to liberation. After much deliberation, we’re very pleased to award the Documentary Award to OVER THE LIMIT by Marta Prus.”
AUDIENCE AWARD BY ORANGE: GUTLAND by Govinda van Maele (This award is given to the film which received the highest number of online votes).
CRITICS’ AWARD: SWEET COUNTRY by Warwick Thornton
PRESS JURY: France Clarinval, Isabelle Debuchy, Raul Reis. “The Press Jury of the Association Luxembourgeoise de la Presse Cinématographique has chosen to award SWEET COUNTRY by Warwick Thornton. We would like to praise a strong film with a universal message, despite being rooted in a very particular story and geographical location. We would like to stress the cleverness of the editing that adds to the efficient narrative, the quality of the actors and especially the performance of Hamilton Morris in the role of Sam, the beauty of the images that transforms the Australian landscapes and the perfect illustration of the subject – the hierarchy of power and authority – present in several films of the Official Competition. Violence, particularly against women, often as a consequence of boredom, was very present in the selection, a not exactly cheerful reflection of the current state of our world. Finally, the Press Jury of the ALPC would like to stress the overall quality of the actors in the selected films. Many of them are carrying the entire weight of difficult films and roles.”
YOUTH JURY AWARD: LEAN ON PETE by Andrew Haigh; Special mention: OVER THE LIMIT by Marta Prus
YOUTH JURY: Charel, Daniela, Gabriel, Luca, Guéné, Michel and Sébastien. “We are pleased to present the winner of the 2018 Youth Jury Award of the 8th Luxembourg City Film Festival. It was a true honour to take part in the Festival. We would first and foremost like to thank Gloria Morano, the Young Audiences Programme Coordinator, and Julie Reuter, her assistant, who have guided us over the course of this edition. As young cinephiles we had the opportunity to present our own critical opinion of the films we saw. It was truly difficult to choose a winning film. It seemed important not to neglect the other candidates and we would like to mention a particular one which has really made our jury’s deliberations come alive. This work of art shows why tension, palpable even among the audience in the theatre, is important in any narrative. Our special mention goes to Marta Prus’s film OVER THE LIMIT. The winning film is a road movie that follows the story of a teenager suffering from the loss of his father who sees no other solution than to cross steppes and cities looking for his aunt and only remaining relative. We award the 2018 Youth Jury Award to Andrew Haigh’s film LEAN ON PETE. Congratulations.”
KIDS JURY AWARD: CLOUDBOY by Meikeminne Clinckspoor
KIDS JURY: Cycle 3.1. of the Cents primary school. Isabelle Prüssen, teacher, Cycle 3.1. of the Cents primary school: “My class has chosen the winner of the Young Audiences selection unanimously. From the first to the last minute, the children were captivated by the suspense and action of the story. They were fascinated by the direction and the actors’ performances which allowed them to completely immerse themselves in the film and to live an unforgettable experience. They enjoyed the other films as well, but only CLOUDBOY was able to completely win them over. The winner of the KIDS JURY AWARD is therefore CLOUDBOY by Meikeminne Clinckspoor.”
KIDS’ FESTIVAL FAVOURITE: MENG KOLLEGEN AUS DEM ALL (LUIS AND THE ALIENS) by Christoph Lauenstein and Wolfgang Lauenstein (co-directed by Sean McCormack)
AN ADDITIONAL CHANCE TO SEE THE WINNING FILMS
- SWEET COUNTRY, Critics’ Award, will be screened once more on Sunday, 4th March at 5pm at the Cinémathèque.
- OVER THE LIMIT, Documentary Award by BGL BNP Paribas will be screened once more on Sunday, 4th March at 7pm at the Cinémathèque.
- FOXTROT, Grand Prix by Orange will be screened once more on Sunday, 4th March at 9pm at the Cinémathèque.