Claude Waringo, Guy Daleiden, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Grand Duke Henri, Xavier Bettel, Lydie Polfer and Tom Leick
Photo: Matic Zorman
The Luxembourg “Oscars” mimicked their US counterpart with politics dominating the awards ceremony on Saturday night.
Photo: Matic Zorman
What some producers are calling a “black year” for Luxembourg’s film industry could well have been temporarily forgotten as the sector celebrated the biannual Lëtzebuerger Filmpräis at the Grand Théâtre on Saturday. But with elections just three weeks away and high-ranking representatives of most political parties in attendance at the gala event, that was never really going to happen.
Successive Luxembourg-based award winners pleaded for the next government to increase funding for the sector as it faces a future of being a victim of its own success, with more and more productions seeking a slice of the cake.
MC Guy Helminger, in a bitingly witty speech, also dished out plenty of barbs aimed not only at the political class but also film industry bigwigs and even, more gently, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess sitting in the audience. It was left to prime minister Xavier Bettel, whose portfolio as minister in charge of communication includes responsibility for the audio-visual sector, to answer on behalf of the current government and say that he fully supports and will continue to lobby on behalf of the film industry.
But the ceremony was chiefly all about celebrating an industry that continues to produce increasingly quality product. As expected, the main prize of best Luxembourg film (quite rightly in Delano’s opinion) went to Govinda van Maele’s debut feature “Gutland”. That movie’s Vicky Krieps also won the new award for best actor. Another shoe-in, the prize for best animated co-production, was picked up by the Oscar-nominated “The Breadwinner”.
Less predictably, the award for best co-production went to French-language film “Noces” and best documentary was awarded to Pol Cruchten’s excellent “La Supplication”, a film that is almost two years old.
A clearly surprised and emotional Cyrus Neshvad won the best short film category for “Fils”, while other awards went to “Bad Banks” for best TV or new media production, “The Breadwinner” again for best technical contribution to an animated feature (a category dominated by Melusine Productions/Studio 352) and Uli Simon for her costumes of “Egon Schiele”.