Lux 2019

Lux Film Prize 2019 finalists announced

The three films competing for Parliament’s 2019 LUX Film Prize are – Cold Case Hammarskjöld; God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya; and The Realm.

The UK Film Festival is looking forward to screening the 3 finalists in November 2019 in Bath and Leeds in association with Film Bath Festival and Leeds International Film Festival.

Cold Case Hammarskjöld

Dag Hammarskjöld died in a suspicious plane crash in 1961 on his way to ceasefire negotiations in order to resolve a conflict in Katanga, Congo, in which significant economic interests were at stake. The Swedish UN Secretary General was a progressive politician who wanted to prevent Western countries like Britain and France from reinstating their influence in Africa, after colonies had gained independence. Mads Brügger’s slow-building documentary sheds light onto the mystery. This is the third time in the LUX Prize’s history that a documentary is among the three finalists.

God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya

What happens when a women takes part in a race traditionally reserved for men and manages to get hold of a holy cross that an Orthodox priest throws into a river? Petrunya does precisely that and enrages both the men and the priest, who draws the police into the case. Although not initially a feminist, Petrunya refuses to give in to demands that she return the cross and fights for equal rights. “Why don’t I have the right to a year of good fortune?” she asks referring to the “prize” for the winner of the contest.

The Realm

How far will someone go to hold on to power? This adrenaline-charged thriller deals with political corruption. It tells the story of the demise of a successful politician and his fiefdom, which had looked destined to last forever. Get ready for bitter arguments, tense car chases and clashes with a probing press.


The original 10 nominees

The 2019 Selection Committee


Last year…

The UK Film Festival screened last year’s 3 finalists in November 2018 in Bath and Leeds in association with Film Bath Festival and Leeds International Film Festival.

Druga strana svega/The Other Side of Everything by Serbian director Mira Turajlić is a documentary, which confronts the history of an entire country and society in its fight against nationalism and struggle for democracy. The chronicle of a family in Serbia turns into a searing portrait of an activist in times of great turmoil, questioning the responsibility of each generation to fight for their future.

Kona fer í stríð/Woman at War by Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson is a joyful, inventive, energetic and feminist saga of a woman who is a music teacher and lives a double life as a passionate environmental activist. As she begins planning her boldest operation yet, she finds out that her application to adopt a child has finally been accepted and there is a little girl waiting for her in Ukraine.

Styx by Austrian director Wolfgang Fischer appears at first to be a documentary, but is in fact a masterly composed allegory of our polarised world and ambivalence toward the refugee crisis. The protagonist sails of to her dream holiday; a solo yachting voyage in the Atlantic, but after a storm finds herself near a dangerously derelict vessel filled with people who desperately need assistance. The coastguard send her radio instructions to stay completely out of the matter because she is barely equipped to help but this clashes with her sense of social responsibility. Will she sail freely while others drown?