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Activities - 11/09/2015


Leyla Bouzid’s A PEINE J'OUVRE LES YEUX (AS I OPEN MY EYES) wins Europa Cinemas Venice Label - EARLY WINTER wins Venice Days Award


Leyla Bouzid’s A PEINE J’OUVRE LES YEUX (AS I OPEN MY EYES), a French/Tunisian/Belgian co-production, has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film in the Giornate degli Autori/Venice Days section of the Venice Film Festival. 2015 marks the twelfth time the Label has been awarded in Venice. In receiving the Label, A PEINE J’OUVRE LES YEUX (AS I OPEN MY EYES) will benefit from promotional support from Europa Cinemas and better exhibition thanks to a financial incentive for network cinemas to include it in their programme schedule.

The jury issued the following statement: 

Leyla Bouzid has made a fresh and insightful feature debut set in her native Tunisia. It is refreshing to see the Arab middle class portrayed in a film that concentrates on the relationship between a daughter – a rebellious young singer in a political rock band - and her mother in the period immediately before the Arab spring. The excellent character development avoids stereotypes, and the director’s visual approach is strong.  At a time when we in Europe are so aware of the refugee crisis, this film brings a sense of optimism and potential for progress for this area of the world.


The film is sold internationally by Doc & Film International. Leyla Bouzid is both the director and the co-screenwriter with Marie-Sophie Chambon. Sandra Da Fonseca, Imed Marzouk, Anthony Rey, Nathalie Mesuret and Bertrand Gore are the producers. The film is a co-production between Blue Monday Productions, Propaganda Production and Hélicotronc.

Synopsis: Tunis, summer 2010, a few months before the Revolution: Farah, 18 years old, has just graduated and her family already sees her as a future doctor. But she doesn't have the same idea. She sings in a political rock band, has a passion for life, gets drunk, discovers love and her city by night against the wishes of her mother Hayet, who knows Tunisia and its dangers all too well.

The winning film was decided by a jury of four network exhibitors: 

NANCY J GARCEAU – Cines Broadway & Cines Manhattan – VALLADOLID (Spain)

Nancy J Garceau has been involved in the world of Art House exhibition since 1983, when her husband opened the Cines Manhattan in Valladolid.  Run as an independent family business, she teams with her husband and together they manage 14 screens offering a varied cultural program which includes all types of films, operas, and events as well as a venue for the Valladolid International Film Festival and Cine Clubs. 

NICO MARZANO – Institute of Contemporary Arts – LONDON (United Kingdom)

Nico Marzano has held the position of Film and Cinema Manager at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (ICA) for the past two years, where he has brought a unique curated programme of independent and socially relevant films. Nico contributes to Film Ireland as well as various academic film journals with film reviews and film theory essays.

KRIJN MEERBURG – LantarenVenster – ROTTERDAM & De Uitkijk – AMSTERDAM (The Netherlands)

Krijn Meerburg started his career in the Dutch film industry in 1984 as independent distributor (Hungry Eye pictures) and from 1990 as an exhibitor of several cinemas in the Netherlands. Since 2011 he has been the director of the film theater and concert hall LantarenVenster in Rotterdam.

RENATE WURM – Das Kino – SALZBURG (Austria)

Renate Wurm has been working in arthouse cinema for over 20 years. Her key areas of responsibility are in programming, networking and public relations. She is also director of the Latin American Film Festival Salzburg – Vienna which is organized every two years.




The Official Jury of Venice Days, headed by Laurent Cantet, has given the Venice Days Award among the films of the Official Selection to EARLY WINTER (Canada) by Michael Rowe (World Sales: Pyramide International).

The jury was composed by the participants to the program 28 Times Cinema of the European Parliament.

Here is the motivation of the jury: “The Jury appreciated the accomplished execution, the originality of the depiction of the ordinary life and a very confident mise en scène. The strong performance of the actors, combined with all these elements, created a strong empathy with characters who at first might seem unlikable.

The award includes a cash prize of €20,000, to be equally split between the filmmaker and the film´s international distributor who agrees to use the sum received to promote the winning film internationally.