EFFE Awards 2019

On 26 September, the 24 EFFE Laureate Festivals were celebrated at the EFFE Awards 2019-2020 Salon in BOZAR. 5 festivals were given the EFFE Award 2019-2020 and one won the EFFE’s Audience Choice. Two additional personalities, Frie Leysen (Founder Kunstenfestivaldesarts) and Dieter Kosslick (former Director Berlinale), received the EFFE Lifetime Achievement Award.

Effe Awards Photo By @ Bruno Maes Photo 1

This year’s International Jury, which was chaired by former director of Edinburgh International Festival, Sir Jonathan Mills, selected the 5 most trend-setting European festivals from a pool of 705 festivals that hold the EFFE Label 2019-2020. The festival that received the majority of the audience votes was Varna Summer International Music Festival from Bulgaria.

The EFFE Award Winners (in alphabetical order) are:

On this occasion, 200 people came together to honour arts and artists and the festivals who give them a stage in BOZAR – Centre for Fine Arts Brussels. Among them were festival makers, artists, city representatives and European policy makers. European Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics, who has been supportive of festivals throughout his term had the following to say:

Thumb 910X0 Tibor Navracsics Resize

‘In supporting intercultural dialogue, the Commission relies on the ideas, networks and capacities of many partners. Bringing this diverse range of policies and projects to life would not be possible without the European Parliament, authorities and cultural institutes in the Member States as well as organisations like the European Festivals Association. We will need to continue to work together.

Photo via EU.

Afsalon 2019 Romeo Frie 2 Pic Bruno Maes

Romeo Castellucci thanked Frie Leysen for inventing Kunstenfestivaldesarts and for the opportunity she has given to audiences ‘to think, to reflect about the act of seeing, to see the act of seeing itself, to become deeply aware of what it means to be a spectator of the complexity of the images of our time.’

Afsalon 2019 Saodat Kosslik Pic Bruno Maes

Dieter Kosslick too received praise, this time from Soadat Ismailova, for the innovation he brought to his festival, Berlinale, for adding new sections to the festival programme and for finding a successful balance between the star attendance and the artistic integrity of the festival. Dieter Kosslick has contributed to liberty and democracy in countries on all continents and has been relentless in demanding liberation for imprisoned artists.

Jan Briers, EFA President, concluded ‘2000 festivals are on our online search tool FestivalFinder.eu with 1500 festivals having the EFFE Label. We are looking forward to further develop this ever growing alliance in the future.’