5th European University Film Award
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.
In 2019 it became an official category of the European Film Awards.
Starting off with 13 universities from 13 countries in first edition, the 5th edition saw 25 universities and 25 countries:
- 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
- Kosovo | AAB University
- Latvia | Riga: Latvian Academy of Culture
- Lithuania | Vilnius: Vilnius University
- Netherlands | Utrecht: Utrecht University
- Poland | Lodz: University of Lodz
- Portugal | Covilhã: University of Beira Interior
- 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 38 feature films and 13 documentaries from the European Film Award Selections 2020 five films were nominated for the EUFA 2020.
- ANOTHER ROUND (DRUK) by Thomas Vinterberg. Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden. Fiction
- BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ by Burhan Qurbani. Germany, Netherlands. Fiction
- CORPUS CHRISTI (BOZE CIALO) by Jan Komasa. Poland, France. Fiction
- SAUDI RUNAWAY by Susanne Regina Meures. Switzerland. Documentary
- SLALOM by Charlène Favier. France. 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 attended a digital two-day deliberation meeting organized out of Hamburg that took place 9/10 December.
The First Day was characterized by discussing and reflecting all five films, finding arguments and describing the qualities of each film. Half-way through the results from the "national votes" – the Top 3 films (ANOTHER ROUND, CORPUS CHRISTI and SAUDI RUNAWAY) 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. In a secret election the students to decided on the Swiss film SAUDI RUNAWAY by Susanne Regina Meures to be the winner of the 5th European University Film Award.
The jury statement:
Through Muna's eyes, SAUDI RUNAWAY's 'vlogumentary' style offers an intimate and engaged portrayal of life as a young woman in Saudi Arabia and the multitude of opposites that affect it: modernity and tradition, family love and trauma, duty and the right to choose. Susanne Regina Meures captivates us through the creative treatment of a medium we all possess, revealing its potential for a widespread empowerment. By breaking cinematic conventions and evading the clichés of the western gaze, Muna's secretive cinematography oscillates the audience between witness and eavesdropper. Uncertainty and tension are palpable throughout, but linger long-after: Muna is merely one of many.
The winner was announced during the „EFAs at Eight“, a ceremony part of the European Film Awards 2020 who were held digital. The winning director Susanne Regina Meures sent a video messages to thank the students.
Thanks to our wonderful students for their passion for European Cinema !!!
The 5th EUFA Edition 2020 was funded by the Minister of State for Culture and the Media on the occasion of Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020. Media Partner was Cineuropa.