Announced at the 66th Venice Film Festival, the films have been chosen for their focus on fundamental rights, public freedoms, justice, solidarity and immigration. They were selected from a long list, which also included:
- 35 Rhums, Dir: Claire Denis
- Ander, Dir: Roberto Caston
- Fur Ein Augenblick Freiheit, Dir: Arash T Riahi
- Katalin Varga, Dir: Peter Strickland
- Lost Persons Area: Dir: Caroline Strubbe
- Nord, Dir: Rune Denstad Langlo
- Pandora’s Box, Dir: Yesim Ustaoglu
Kalev’s Bulgaria- Sweden co-production Eastern Plays tells the story of two brothers who have lost contact but are suddenly brought together by their opposite roles in a racist beating, while Lioret’s French film Welcome follows Simon, a swimming instructor, who attempts to win his wife back by taking a big risk, when he secretly helps a young Kurdish refugee who wants to swim the English channel.
Storm, Schmid’s Germany-Denmark-Netherlands co-production, focuses on Hannah Maynard, a prosecutor in The Hague, who convinces a young Bosnian woman to testify against an alleged war criminal. But she finds herself battling opponents in her own ranks as well as the dock and finds herself torn between her beliefs and her loyalty to her witness.
The prize, worth $127, 048 (€87,000), will finance subtitling of the film in the EU’s 23 official languages, including adaptations of the original version of hearing impaired and deaf people. It will also cover the production of a 35-mm print or a contribution to the DVD release.
The winner will be announced on November after the films have been shown to the European Parliament’s 736 members in Brussels. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Le Silence De Lorna won the prize last year.
The prize aims to support features and animations that highlight or question the founding values of the European Union, including identity, diversity or insights into the debate on integration.