Sámi Blood won the 2017 Lux Film Prize at a ceremony in the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday.
The first feature from director Amanda Kernell, Sámi Blood is a touching story of a young Sámi girl who wishes to distance herself from her family and her culture in search of a new life. Sámis are an indigenous people of Sweden, Norway and Finland. The other finalists were the French production 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute) by Robin Campillo and the German-Bulgarian-Austrian co-production Western by Valeska Grisebach.
The lead actresses, both Sámi, accepted the prize on behalf of the film.
We are still here; we still exist. Every day, our people see the effects of colonial and racist thinking, as well as climate change…Receiving this award feels like retribution for the older generations of Sámi people who have been treated as lesser citizens – and we hope the European Union brings an end to this so that we can all stop thinking in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them.’
Lene Cecilia Sparrok, Star of Sámi Blood
The Lux Prize is an initiative of the European Parliament hoping to create a European cultural identity as well as celebrate our diversity through cinema. This year’s Lux Prize finalists highlighted problems in our society, from health issues to the destruction of minorities to prejudices that still exist between cultures and nationalities. Through subtitling the three finalists each year into the 24 official languages of the EU and screening them in the 28 member countries, the prize hopes to break down the language barrier of European cinema to make relevant and remarkable films accessible for all.
[The European Parliament’s desire is] to defend European cultural identity, as well as the European film industry, which represents a large sector of the European economy, and which involves a lot of professionals and companies. The prize deserves to be supported and fought for because we cannot accept a loss of competitiveness in this industry owing to its use of languages that are certainly not as well known as English, especially because of the high quality of the work that is being done nowadays. Beyond the political issues and ideologies, the European Parliament will always be there to support film professionals, because we believe in you and your work.
Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament
Catch the 2017 Lux Film Prize winner Sámi Blood at 3.45 on Friday in the Gate Cinema as part of the Cork Film Festival. Tickets are free, thanks to the European Parliament, and some places are still available at corkfilmfest.org/events/sami-blood-sameblood/
Find more information about the Lux Film Prize on their website luxprize.eu