Euro film-makers name 50 ahead of Riga awards extravaganza

Representatives of the European Film Academy (EFA) unveiled a selection of 50 films Tuesday from "thousands" of European films made during the last year ahead of the European Film Awards, due to take place in Riga on December 13.

The 'long list' includes films from 31 countries that will be watched by around 3,000 EFA members in coming weeks before a short-list of actual award nominees is revealed on November 8 in Spain and a seven-person panel decides who ultimately picks up the main statuettes.

Speaking to journalists Tuesday, Diana Civle of the Riga 2014 foundation said: "I'd like to express my great thanks to the European film Academy for choosing Riga to host this year's film awards... it's a significant way to bring the cultural capital programme to a close."

Asked by LSM how much the lavish awards ceremony was likely to cost, Civle declined to name a figure but said costs were shared between the EFa and the hosts.

Renowned Polish director Agnieszka Holland, who chairs the EFA, said: "We are very happy our awards ceremony will happen in this city. It is really important for us to travel with our movies over Europe... we hope it will be the seed which will grow up and that European cinema will find a larger place also in Latvia."

The star-studded cast likely to attend the awards might do more than simply gasp tearful thanks to their friends and relatives, Holland suggested.

"We are living in quite difficult times – after a decade of relative calm – the political situation around Europe has become dangerous – cinema at this moment can be a very important language to express and communicate. The EFA believes the best way to talk among people is art, culture and cinema which creates a kind of universal language."

"Entertainment is very important but we would like to have a little more from the cinema today," she said.

EFA board member and director Marion Doring agreed, saying: "Knowing the filmmakers we can be pretty sure there will be people on stage saying something about the situation we are in right now."

The awards would be "not only for the people from the international film academy that are travelling to Riga – it's also for the people."

"This is an opportunity for the people of Riga to meet the winner of the lifetime achievement award... we will make sure the winner of the award is there to meet the people," Doring said.

The identity of the lifetime achievement award-winner would be announced "in the near future", the EFA representatives said.

Further details of the selected films can be found at the EFA website: http://www.europeanfilmacademy.org

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