"Welcome", winner of LUX prize 2009

The film received the largest number of MEPs' votes from among the three finalists.  Welcome focuses on a swimming instructor in Calais, France, who decides to help out a young Kurdish refugee who needs to swim across the English Channel to join his girlfriend who has already emigrated to England along with her family.

The full Parliament has decided, after screening period for three films finalists for the prize started on November 4, awarding the prize LUX 2009 to the french film "Welcome", directed by Philippe Lioret. The film has imposed on the two other finalists: Sturm and Eastern Plays.

 LUX Prize is a film award established by the European Parliament, where deputies award those movies that illustrate the universality of European values, the diversity of European culture, or try on the construction process of the European Union. The award statuette representing a roll of film is film which is a Tower of Babel as a symbol of multilingualism and cultural diversity, united in the same place with one goal.


Simon is a swimming instructor working in Calais who decides to try and woo his wife back by helping a young Kurdish refugee swim the English channel to seek asylum in Britain. As they prepare for this hazardous journey a bond develop between this unlikely couple. Directed by Philippe Lioret the film is in French, English and Kurdish.

The three films competing this year for the LUX Prize were announced on 9 September during the 66th edition of the International Film Festival of Venice. Now,  736 Members of the European Parliament have elected the winner.

These awards complement other community initiatives to support the European film industry, like those established by the MEDIA programme.