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 4th edition saw 25 universities and 25 countries:

  • Austria | Vienna: University of Vienna
  • Belgium | Antwerp: University of Antwerp
  • Czech Republic | Prague: Charles University
  • Denmark | Aarhus: Aarhus University
  • Finland | Oulu: University of Oulu
  • France | Paris : Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3
  • Germany | Potsdam: Filmuniversität Babelsberg 'Konrad Wolf'
  • Greece | Mytilini (Lesbos): University of the Aegean
  • Hungary | Budapest: Pázmány Péter Catholic University
  • Iceland | Reykjavik: University of Iceland
  • Ireland | Cork: University College Cork
  • Israel | Tel Aviv: Steve Tisch School of Cinema and Television Studies at Tel-Aviv University
  • Italy | Udine: University of Udine
  • Latvia | Riga: Latvian Academy of Culture
  • Lithuania | Vilnius: Vilnius University
  • Netherlands | Utrecht: Utrecht University
  • Poland | Lodz: University of Lodz
  • Portugal | Lissabon: University of Lisbon
  • Romania | Cluj: Sapientia University/Cluj-Napoca
  • Serbia | Belgrade: University of Arts in Belgrade
  • Spain | Bilbao: University of the Basque Country/Bilbao
  • Sweden | Växjö: Linnaeus University
  • Switzerland | Lausanne: Université de Lausanne
  • Turkey | Istanbul: Kadir Has University
  • United Kingdom | Liverpool: John Moores University

Based on the lists of 46 feature films and 12 documentaries from the European Film Award Selections 2019 a committee consisting of Carlo Cresto-Dina (producer / Italy); Joanna Szymanska (producer / Poland) and Dagmar Brunow (Film scholar / Sweden) decided to nominate Five Films for the EUFA 2019.

The Five Nominated films were:

  • AND THEN WE DANCED by Levan Akin. Sweden, Georgia, France. Fiction
  • GOD EXISTS, HER NAME IS PETRUNIJA by Teona Stugar Mitevska. North Macedonia, Belgium, Slovenia, France, Croatia. Fiction
  • PIRANHAS by Claudio Giovannesi. Italy. Fiction
  • PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE by Céline Sciamma. France. Fiction
  • SYSTEM CRASHER by Nora Fingscheidt. Germany. Fiction

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 25 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 25 universities came to Hamburg for a two-day deliberation meeting that took place 4/5 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 (AND THEN WE DANCED, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE and SYSTEM CRASHER) 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:
"In this film, fearless, careful and gentle storytelling creates a mythical atmosphere in which female characters depend on each other and find solace in each other's company. Central composition, a renaissance colour palette and stylized mise-en-scène all contribute to presenting every frame as a canvas painting.
Furthermore, the movie's relationship with European art and history shines a light on the local values and way of life. By breaking the hierarchy between the artist and the muse, Sciamma turns the artistic process into a moving love story."

The 4th European University Film Award went to the French film PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) by Céline Sciamma. 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 as part of the 32nd European Film Awards in Berlin, at the welcome reception hosted by the Creative Europe Desk. Céline Sciamma couldn't attend the European Film Awards due to strikes in France. Because of the continuing COVID situation in Europe the award was mailed to Céline Sciamma. She was very honoured and thankful and took a photo of the award with the original painting.

Thanks to our wonderful students for their passion for European Cinema !!!

The 4th EUFA Edition 2018 was made possible with the support of the Joachim Herz Stiftung, the City of Hamburg and Creative Europe Desk Hamburg and in close collaboration with NECS–European Network for Cinema and Media Studies.