God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija, a finalist for the 2019 LUX Prize 

The Croatian minority co-production God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija by Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2019 LUX Prize, which is awarded annually by the European Parliament. 

The feature film God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska came about as a Macedonian-Belgian-Slovenian-Croatian-French co-production, while the Croatian co-producer is Zdenka Gold (Spiritus Movens). The film’s plot, which premiered at the Berlinale, takes place in the town of Štip, in Eastern Macedonia, where every January the local priest throws a wooden cross into the river and hundreds of men dive to retrieve it. He who manages to fish out the cross is blessed with happiness and success. This time Pertrunija too dove for the cross and succeeded in grabbing it before everyone else, which infuriated her opponents.  

The other two finalists are the films Cold Case Hammarskjöld by the director Mads Brügger (a Danish-Norwegian-Swedish-Belgian co-production) and The Realm by director Rodrigo Sorogoyen (a Spanish-French co-production). All three films will be translated into the 24 official languages of the European Union, and will be screened in more than 50 cities in 28 countries as part of the LUX Films Days that the European Parliament organises in cooperation with MEDIA offices of the Creative Europe Programme. The LUX Prize will be awarded to one of them on 27 November, where the winning film will be selected by members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. 

Before the final selection of these three films, the selection commission comprised of film professionals (festival directors, distributers, film critics) appointed by the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, selected 10 films that promote the abundance, diversity and excellence of European film.

'Again among the finalists we have a film directed by a woman, which promotes an important discussion about the presence of women in social, political and religious spheres’, stands in the explanation. 

You can find out more about the finalists for the LUX Prize on the official website

Cover photograph: scene from the film God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija

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