"The Teachers’ Lounge" wins the LUX Audience Award 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.

European Parliament Vice-President Evelyn Regner (S&D, AT) said: “Culture and cinema in particular play a pivotal role in solidifying our sense of a shared European identity. The values at the heart of our European democracy are the same as the ones depicted in today’s films. Today, we remember together how precious and fragile democracy is, especially now that the European Elections are only a few weeks away.”

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, with each weighted at 50%. 

Press conference and related events
You can watch the press conference with the winner Evelyn Regner and Mike Downey after the ceremony on EbS and EP Live.


Further information:

LUX Audience Award

EP Multimedia Centre: free photos, video and audio material (LUX Award 2024)