Film Fund Luxembourg The Fund has overseen the organisation of the Luxembourg Film Awards since 2003
The audiovisual production sector has attracted crowds to cinema theatres for decades. Co-produced Luxembourg and international productions have even managed to delight the public abroad. This success is largely owed to the Luxembourg Film Fund's relentless commitment.
Cinema is often referred to as "the seventh art". Cinematic experience is also about diversity, pleasure, discovery and even the development of a critical mind. But above all, cinema is an industry. The Film Fund Luxembourg's role is to manage the film industry in Luxembourg by setting the stage to make sure it has every chance to succeed.
Although it is a niche market, Luxembourgish films have been paid off with a string of successes and rewards at national and international level for decades. These success stories are largely attributable to the unfailing commitment of the Film Fund Luxembourg. It is a public institution that aims to develop audiovisual production in Luxembourg under the supervision of the Minister of Culture and the Minister in charge of the audiovisual sector. It plays different roles: promoting cinema and audiovisual productions as well as encouraging the production, co-production and distribution of cinematographic works.
In terms of financial support for the film industry, the Film Fund provides selective financial aid for writing and/or development and production to 15 film projects out of 29 this year. The largest aid went to the film Tally Ho! in an amount of 29 million euros. avec 3 millions d'euros. Overall, six films, one animated film, one documentary film, one series, one animated documentary series, one animated series, two short films and two animated shorts are supported financially.From 1990 to date, the mechanism of the support programmes has made it possible to produce over 600 audiovisual works.
The Fund also cooperates with representatives of the audiovisual industry, such as the Luxembourg Film Academy, the Luxembourg Producers' Association (ULPA) or the Luxembourgish Association of Filmmakers and Scriptwriters (LARS). It also represents Luxembourg in all its European and international audiovisual initiatives such as Eurimages, the Pan European Coproduction Fund, Creative Europe – Media, the European Commission's support programme aimed at providing a framework for a rapidly expanding Luxembourg audiovisual industry.
What's more, the Film Fund does all it can to increase its support to animated films. They accumulate festival selections, nominations and prestigious awards. These new awards once again honour the work of all professionals in the Luxembourg animation sector. A vast amount of work is owed to the Film Fund's involvement, which organises meetings between producers and other actors in the sector. In June 2022, the Film Fund organised its French animation coproduction meetings in collaboration with SODEC, a Canadian cultural enterprise development organisation, Wallonie Bruxelles Images (Belgium), the Federal Office of Culture and Swiss Films (Switzerland). These events are an opportunity for producers to develop their network and discuss potential collaborations. This year, 23 producers met as part of 55 meetings.
Since 2003, the Fund has overseen the organisation of the Luxembourg Film Awards (Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis), which reward the best film contributions in the country. Since 2003, every two years, the red carpet welcomes the very best of Luxembourgish cinema for the Luxembourg Film Awards ceremony. This award ceremony, which recognizes the best Luxembourgish productions is organised by the Film Fund in close collaboration with the Luxembourg Film Academy (d'Filmakademie). The Academy was created in 2012 on the initiative of the associations of film technicians (ALTA), directors and screenwriters (LARS), actors (ACTORS.LU) and producers (ULPA).
But the Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis is not only an award ceremony or a quest to recognise winners. The purpose of the ceremony is to showcase high-quality films, encourage cinematographic creation, promote the development of the film industry in the Grand Duchy, and draw public attention to Luxembourgish productions.
The 9th edition of the Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis took place in September 2021.
The awards are small statues that were created by Luxembourgish artist Patricia Lippert back in 2003.
Triumphant films at the festivals
On top of promoting Luxembourg as a production site, the Film Fund strengthens the visibility of audiovisual productions by making their presence felt at international festivals. Here are some recent examples that have made their mark on red carpets around the world.
The Luxembourg co-production Les rois du monde (Los Reyes del Mundo) by Iris Productions (Nicolas Steil & Katarzyna Ozga) has just won two awards at the70th San Sebastián International Film Festival, one of the most popular Spanish film festivals since 1953: the Grand Prize (Golden Shell) for Best Film and the Critics' Prize awarded by the Spanish Film Press Association.
The film Les rois du monde is the second feature film of Colombian Director Laura Mora. It was co-produced by Luxembourg, Colombia, France, Mexico and Norway, with the support of the Film Fund. The film is about five street children in Medellín, who are looking for the Promised Land in the midst of a violent context: Colombia.
These two awards complement other performances by other Luxembourg co-productions, such as the feature film Blanquita directed by Fernando Guzzoni, which won the "Best Screenplay" award in this year's Orriontzi section at the Mostra di Venezia.
Blanquita is a co-production between Luxembourg (Tarantula Luxembourg), Chile, France and Poland. It tells the story of Blanca (18), who lives in a children's home run by the priest Manuel Cura (50).
Yet another internationally acclaimed co-production is the feature film Corsage (Samsa Film). This biopic starring Vicky Krieps, has just won the "Best Film" award at the BFI London Film Festival. The co-production was directed by Marie Kreutzer and features Luxembourg actresses Vicky Krieps who plays the famous Austro-Hungarian empress Elisabeth, known as Sissi, and Jeanne Werner.
Corsage won the official selection "Un Certain Regard" - "Best Performance for Vicky Krieps" at this year's Cannes Film Festival and was also recently part of the special presentations at the Toronto International Film Festival 2022.
The International Animation Film Festival awarded three Luxembourg co-productions: "Le Petit Nicolas, Qu'est-ce qu'on attend pour être heureux?" triomphe en remportant le Cristal du Long-Métrage.
This animated film was co-produced by Lilian Eche and Christel Henon (Bidibul Productions) and directed by Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre, based on the work of René Goscinny and Jean-Jacques Sempé.
Bettembourg's Philophon studios did the sound editing, sound effects and mixing, while the music for the film was recorded at the Luxembourg Philharmonic.
Le Petit Nicholas, Qu'est-ce qu'on attend pour être heureux?
The full-lenght feature film Deux directed by Filippo Meneghetti, co-produced in Luxembourg by the company Tarantula (Donato Rotunno and Elise André) won the Cesar of the best first film at the 46th Cesar awards ceremony in Paris.
The comedy-drama had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and won dozens of international awards including Best First Film and Best Actress for Martine Chevalier and Barbara Sukowa, the film's two leads, at the 2021 "Lumières de la presse étrangère" award ceremony. The film is about a lesbian love story and is available on the Luxembourgish platform sooner.lu.
The film HINTERLAND directed by Stefan Ruzowitzkyn, has been selected for several festivals and won the Audience Award at the Locarno Festival. The world premiere at the Piazza Grande in Locarno took place on 6th August before over 6,000 filmgoers and professionals. The original music for HINTERLAND was composed by Kyan Bayani, a sound artist and composer from Luxembourg whose projects include fiction films and documentaries. The film was shot for the most part at the Filmland Studios in Kehlen.
HINTERLAND is set in 1920 Vienna, in the ruins of the Great War. Peter Berg, a former detective, comes back to his hometown after seven years of captivity as a prisoner of war. A stranger in a dark world of hunger and crime, he finds himself facing a murder mystery.