In 2016 Filmfest Hamburg and the European Film Academy launched the European University Film Award (EUFA) which is presented and voted by European university students. The aim of this initiative is to involve a younger audience, to spread the "European idea" and to transport the spirit of European cinema to an audience of university students. It shall also support film dissemination, film education and the culture of debating. The discussions within the local universities and during the debate in Hamburg are about fostering a common understanding, articulating values and ideas, searching for a way to understand this world and each other and overcoming national, social and stereotype marks.
Starting off with 13 universities from 13 countries in first edition, the second edition in 2017 already saw 20 universities from 20 countries while the 3rd edition saw 22 universities and 22 countries:
Based on the lists of 49 feature films and 15 documentaries from the European Film Award Selections 2018 a committee consisting of Mike Goodridge (producer & festival director, UK), Christophe Leparc (festival director, France) and Dagmar Brunow (Film scholar Linnaeus University, Sweden) decided to nominate Five Films for the EUFA 2018.
The Five Nominated films were:
From then on between October and early December the five nominated films were viewed and discussed by students in film and media studies classes at the participating 22 European universities. Each film was analyzed, evaluated and passionately discussed over the course of two months and in the end each institution voted by a point system for their top three films. These results were sent in for the final vote.
One student representative for each of 22 universities came to Hamburg for a two-day deliberation meeting that took place 5/6 December.
The First Day was characterized by discussing and reflecting all five films, finding arguments and describing the qualities of each film. During a boat tour the results from the "national votes" – the Top 3 films (FOXTROT, HAPPY AS LAZZARO and U-JULY 22) were announced and continued the journey with the students.
On the Second Day the students were developing criteria for the award. The discussion turned out to be very profound and enhancing reflecting aspects of all facets of the award: How do the films correspond to EUROPEAN, to UNIVERSITY and to FILM. The discourse was extremely rewarding for everybody.
The jury statement:
"Alice Rohrwacher's HAPPY AS LAZZARO is an unconventional contemporary take on Italian Neorealism, shot on 16mm, that overcomes geographical and stylistic boundaries. The movie conveys the harshness of the exploitation of people in contemporary world and tackles topics such as class, poverty and ideology, through the eyes of the main character Lazzaro.
HAPPY AS LAZZARO excels on stylistic level and in its content. The unique vision of Alice Rohrwacher lets the audience breathe, develop closeness to the characters and get immersed into the magical realism atmosphere. With its unconventional structure and pace, the movie let us discover it piece by piece thus making it a journey for the viewers. The movie gives a human face to the marginalized and a voice to the voiceless, and at the same time escapes the danger of patronizing them. It offers us an original and new interpretation of class, where we experience the struggle of protagonists to break free from their oppressed position and the obstacles that hinder them."
The 3rd European University Film Award went to the Italian film HAPPY AS LAZZARO (Lazzaro felice) by Alice Rohrwacher. During a public presentation at the Studio-Kino on the same evening the winner was announced by the students and the film was shown. The award was presented to Alice Rohrwacher as part of the 31st European Film Awards in Sevilla, at the welcome reception hosted by the Creative Europe Desk on December 14, 2018 to producer Carlo Cresto-Dina and later on to Alice Rohrwacher.
Thanks to our wonderful students for their passion for European Cinema !!!
The 3rd EUFA Edition 2018 was made possible with the support of the Joachim Herz Stiftung, the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Creative Europe Desk Hamburg and the Canadian Embassy and in close collaboration with NECS–European Network for Cinema and Media Studies.