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Belgian film Close wins 2023 LUX Audience Award

13:37 28/06/2023

Belgian film Close by Flemish director Lukas Dhont won the 2023 LUX European Audience Film Award at a ceremony in the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday.

The film, co-produced by Belgium, France and Netherlands, tells the story of an intense friendship between two thirteen-year old boys Leo and Remi. It’s a heart breaking story of teenage friendship, guilt, longing and loss.

The other four films shortlisted for the award were: Alcarras by Spanish director Carla Simón, Burning Days by Turkish director Emin Alper, Will o'the Wisp by Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues and Triangle of  Sadness by Swedish director Ruben Östlund.

The winning film was chosen by combining a public vote and a vote by MEPs, with each worth 50%. 

In total, the awards platform received around 45,000 ratings (reviews on a scale going from one to five stars) from European viewers and 360 from MEPs.

The European audience award was just the latest trophy for the Belgian film. Despite losing out at the Oscars in the international film category earlier this year, Close has garnered rave reviews and a clutch of awards since its release in 2022.

It shared the Grand Prix prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, won the Sydney Film Prize and best international independent film at the British Independent Film Awards and topped the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards in the best foreign language film category.

Photo: Award ceremony at the European Parliament ©European Parliament

Written by Martin Banks