21 Mar 2019
EUFA Film Award Ambassadors 2018 - Kevin O'Shea, MA student Film & Screen Media UCC (left foreground) - Image courtesy of EUFA

The 3rd European University Film Award went to the Italian film HAPPY AS LAZZARO (Lazzaro felice) by Alice Rohrwacher. During a public presentation at the Studio-Kino on the same evening the winner was announced by the students and the film was shown. The award was presented to Alice Rohrwacher as part of the 31st European Film Awards in Sevilla, at the welcome reception hosted by the Creative Europe Desk on December 14, 2018 to producer Carlo Cresto-Dina and later on to Alice Rohrwacher.

In 2016 Filmfest Hamburg and the European Film Academy launched the European University Film Award (EUFA) which is presented and voted by European university students. The aim of this initiative is to involve a younger audience, to spread the "European idea" and to transport the spirit of European cinema to an audience of university students. It shall also support film dissemination, film education and the culture of debating. The discussions within the local universities and during the debate in Hamburg are about fostering a common understanding, articulating values and ideas, searching for a way to understand this world and each other and overcoming national, social and stereotype marks.

One student representative for each of 22 universities came to Hamburg for a two-day deliberation meeting that took place 5/6 December.

The First Day was characterized by discussing and reflecting all five films, finding arguments and describing the qualities of each film. During a boat tour the results from the "national votes" – the Top 3 films (FOXTROT, HAPPY AS LAZZARO and U-JULY 22) were announced and continued the journey with the students.
On the Second Day the students were developing criteria for the award. The discussion turned out to be very profound and enhancing reflecting aspects of all facets of the award: How do the films correspond to EUROPEAN, to UNIVERSITY and to FILM. The discourse was extremely rewarding for everybody.

The jury statement:

"Alice Rohrwacher's HAPPY AS LAZZARO is an unconventional contemporary take on Italian Neorealism, shot on 16mm, that overcomes geographical and stylistic boundaries. The movie conveys the harshness of the exploitation of people in contemporary world and tackles topics such as class, poverty and ideology, through the eyes of the main character Lazzaro.

HAPPY AS LAZZARO excels on stylistic level and in its content. The unique vision of Alice Rohrwacher lets the audience breathe, develop closeness to the characters and get immersed into the magical realism atmosphere. With its unconventional structure and pace, the movie let us discover it piece by piece thus making it a journey for the viewers. The movie gives a human face to the marginalized and a voice to the voiceless, and at the same time escapes the danger of patronizing them. It offers us an original and new interpretation of class, where we experience the struggle of protagonists to break free from their oppressed position and the obstacles that hinder them."

For more information visit

Department of Film and Screen Media

Scannánaíocht agus Meáin Scáileán

O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland