EFFE Awards 2017

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Respected festival representatives from across Europe gathered in Brussels on 18 September for the Arts Festivals Salon and announcement of the 2017 EFFE Awards. EFFE is the scheme for the recognition of Europe’s remarkable festivals selected by the European Festivals Association with the support of the European Commission and European Parliament.

An International Jury presided over by Sir Jonathan Mills, composer and former Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, selected 6 of the most trend-setting European festivals from a pool of 715 which were recognised with the EFFE Label in May. The label is eligible to festivals in 39 countries participating in the Creative Europe Programme.

The EFFE Award winners (in alphabetical order) are:

  1. Altofest International Contemporary Live Arts Festival, Italy
  2. European Film Festival Palic, Serbia
  3. FMM Sines - Festival Músicas do Mundo, Portugal
  4. Gdansk Shakespeare Festival, Poland
  5. Utrecht Early Music Festival, Netherlands

A special Award for its continued reinvention of the arts and festival sector is given to the Edinburgh International Festival, UK.

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From the many festivals given the EFFE label, 26 Laureates were announced in July as candidates for the Award. They ranged geographically from the Azores to Kiev, from Cyprus to Estonia and in scope from early music to digital arts. The International Jury’s decision was built on national experts’ advice on applicant festivals from world famous fixtures in the cultural calendar to eclectic events known only to a few.

Sir Jonathan Mills reminded the guests during the Award Ceremony at BOZAR on 18 September of the enriching impact of arts activities on our society and their powerful message towards European integration. Bernard Foccroulle, composer, musician and director of Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, joined the conversation saying how important it is to show the commitment of European arts festivals to the dialogue between different artists, cultures, traditional and contemporary repertoire, popular and more elitist programming – and to see a reflection of this diversity in Europe’s online Arts Festivals Calendar. Read Sir Jonathan Mills' entire speech here.

European Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics underlined that, “as Commissioner in charge of culture, I will keep working with all the representatives of the major arts festivals in Europe to make sure culture is high on the European agenda. Together with the European Festivals Association, the European Commission is proud to recognise the work that is done by thousands of people working in festivals as well as the artists performing in them.”

During the Arts Festivals Salon, hosted by the Centre for Fine Arts – BOZAR, festival leaders had the chance to exchange views with one another but also with European and local authorities and partners from the business sector. After receiving the prizes, the guests were invited to a concert by Bernard Foccroulle as part of the InOrguration Festival, celebrating the restoration of BOZAR’s organ.

Governor Jan Briers, EFA President, said, “with an online Arts Festivals Calendar www.effe.eu, EFFE puts festivals from diverse genres at the fingertips of audiences across Europe.” The EFFE Label is the means by which Europe recognises remarkable arts festivals committed to the arts, their communities and an open view on the world.

The EFFE International Jury members are: Sir Jonathan Mills (Chairman, EFFE International Jury – Australia, UK), Tamar Brüggeman (Co-Director, Wonderfeel - Netherlands), Peter Florence (Director, Hay Festivals – UK), Keng Sen Ong (Director, Singapore International Festival of Arts - Singapore), Haris Pašović (Theater director, Director East West Centre, Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina), Pawel Potoroczyn (CEO of University SWPS in Warsaw - Poland), Renato Quaglia (General Manager, FOQUS Foundation - Italy), Irene Rossi (Couleur Café - Belgium), Fruzsina Szép (Director, Lollapalooza Berlin and Board member, Yourope - Hungary).

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EFFE Laureates

In July 2017, the EFFE International Jury selected 26 festivals from amongst the 715 EFFE Labelled Festivals for their exceptional quality, work, commitment and impact within their contexts and territories. These 26 Laureates are in the run for the EFFE Award handed out on 18 September during the Arts Festivals Salon in Brussels, hosted by the Centre of Fine Arts – BOZAR.

Pawel Potoroczyn, chair of the final EFFE Jury meeting, is “delighted with the result which is representative for the whole EFFE Label list covering 39 countries. The geographical reach, diverse festivals’ scope and diversity in arts disciplines, as well as a strong social engagement, are reflected in these 26 EFFE Laureates celebrating the diverse festivals’ community all over Europe”.

The 26 EFFE Laureates (in alphabetical order) are:

  1. 12 Points, Ireland
  2. Africtions - captured by Dance, Germany
  3. Altofest International Contemporary Live Arts, Italy
  4. ASALTO Zaragoza , Spain
  5. Athens Digital Arts Festival , Greece
  6. Bábkarská Bystrica TOUR - Double impulse, Slovakia
  7. Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival, Cyprus
  8. Edinburgh Festival Fringe, UK
  9. Edinburgh International Festival, UK
  10. European Film Festival Palic, Serbia
  11. Festival of Five Churches, Hungary
  12. Festival of Wonder, Denmark
  13. FMM Sines - Festival Músicas do Mundo, Portugal
  14. Gdansk Shakespeare Festival, Poland
  15. Gender Bender, Italy
  16. GOGOLFEST - International Annual Multidisciplinary International Festival of Contemporary Art, Ukraine
  17. International Theatre Festival - Varna Summer, Bulgaria
  18. Les Eurockéennes de Belfort, France
  19. Mittelfest, Italy
  20. Ravenna festival, Italy
  21. Tallinn Architecture Biennale , Estonia
  22. Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre, Georgia
  23. TANEC PRAHA - The International Festival of Contemporary Dance and Movement Theatre, Czech Republic
  24. Theaterfestival Boulevard 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
  25. Utrecht Early Music Festival, Netherlands
  26. Walk&Talk Azores, Portugal

NB: the festivals that received the EFFE Award in 2015 were not considered for nomination in this edition.