In this year's pool of projects submitted for development funding from EU’s MEDIA Programme, Thomas Vinterberg's "The Commune" has the greatest international sales and box office potential. That's the assessment made by MEDIA's panel of experts who consequently awards its annual Prix MEDIA Prize to the Danish director.
Vinterberg will be presented with the award by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, at a ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, 19 May – which happens to be the director's 44th birthday. The ceremony kicks off the annual European Rendezvous where film professionels meet for seminars and debates about European cinema.
Thomas Vinterberg, who is this year's President of the jury for Un Certain Regard, shares the prize with his co-writer Tobias Lindholm and producer Sisse Graum Jørgensen of Zentropa. The same team who was behind last year's Best Actor Cannes winner "The Hunt".
The prize is awarded to the best new film project with box-office potential which was submitted for development funding from the.
Development support essential for creativity
Vinterberg's new project "The Commune" chronicles the director's childhood of communal living in the 1970s. The screenplay is based on the Vinterberg's stage play of the same name performed in Vienna in 2011. The project is in development, due to go into production next year. The film has received €60,000 in development support from the MEDIA programme, of which Vinterberg says:
"Development is such a vital and hugely creative part of the film process. It is great to have an institution like the MEDIA programme of the European Union that acknowledges and supports film-making at its most delicate stage."
Androulla Vassiliou is equally thrilled about presenting the award to Vinterberg:
"This is a thoroughly deserved award for one of Europe's most exciting directorial talents. Thomas's films are never ordinary: always thought-provoking, beautifully told and beautifully acted. He's not afraid to take risks and, after the worldwide success of his 2012 masterpiece Jagten, we all eagerly look forward to his next release," says the EU Commissioner in a press release.
The selection of the Prix Media winner is based on an evaluation of the submitted projects' quality in content and commercial potential. Last year's winner, Asghar Farhadi's "Le Passé", is in the run for this year's Palme d'Or.
"The Commune" has also received screenplay subsidies from the Danish Film Institute.