The Teachers’ Lounge won the LUX Audience Film Award

April 16, 2024

“The Teachers’ Lounge” by German director Ilker Çatak won the 2024 LUX European Audience Film Award on Tuesday, in a ceremony in Parliament’s hemicycle in Brussels.

The film, produced in Germany, tells a story about Carla, a young high school teacher, distinguished from her colleagues by her idealism. When a series of unsolved thefts sour the atmosphere among the teaching staff, Carla decides to investigate. With the help of a hidden camera and to everyone’s surprise, she exposes the thief but her revelation unleashes forces that slide steadily out of control and presents Carla with an unsolvable dilemma.

Mike Downey, Honorary president of the LUX Selection Committee and Chair of the European Film Academy, commented: “All of the nominees were winners in our view, and all of the films draw attention to the fact that cinema not only enhances the imagination but also shows our entire world in multiple perspectives, and has the power to broaden our vision and thinking. We just have to look at the five candidates for this year’s award – great works of art which are diverse, entertaining, and socially engaged in the world in which we live.”

Co-writer and Director of the winning film İlker Çatak, Writer Johannes Duncker and Producer Ingo Fliess said in a statement: “Our heartfelt gratitude to our audience and the esteemed members of the European Parliament. We are deeply honoured by the widespread reception of our film among viewers in Europe and beyond. This recognition underscores the vital role of teachers as the unsung heroes of our society. With utmost respect, we dedicate this award to them.”

The other four films shortlisted for the award were: "20 000 Species of Bees" by Spanish director Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren, "Fallen Leaves" by Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, "On the Adamant" by French director Nicolas Philibert, "Smoke Sauna Sisterhood" by Estonian director Anna Hints.

The winning film was chosen by combining a public vote and a vote by MEPs. We are happy to have had the opportunity to present it to our viewers at DEF and congratulations to the creators!

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