'A Separation' Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi Receiving European Commission's EU MEDIA Prize

The Iranian writer-director and his producer, Memento Films' Alexandre Malley-Guy will get the first-time award at the Festival de Cannes in May.

After A Separation, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi will be reunited with the global film industry when he receives the European Commission’s first EU Media Prize at this year’s Festival de Cannes in May. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou will give the prize to Farhadi and his producer, Memento Films Production’s Alexandre Mallet-Guy on Sunday, May 20th in Cannes.

Farhadi’s A Separation was a critic favorite this year and earned the director the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and a Cesar Award in France, among other accolades.

Farhadi and Mallet-Guy will receive the award for their new project that will be filmed in France and in French in the Fall. The film is still untitled and Mallet-Guy told The Hollywood Reporter that the details will remain mum for the time being. Memento handled international sales on A Separation and released it in France.

Vassiliou called their new collaboration “a film project which has a strong cultural identity and illustrates the openness of European culture, which I defend daily” and “a project which is committed and moving in equal measure and above all draws on universality.”

 “In these times when certain politicians are trying to turn the beautiful rainbow of cultural diversity in the world into differences and confrontations, I believe that this MEDIA award for my next film project is a very encouraging sign,” Farhadi said of the prize, commending the European Commission for its “lucid and open vision of mutual and respectful exchanges between cultures.”

The MEDIA prize is awarded to the best project with box-office potential submitted by a screenwriter and a production company. The project is selected from the applications submitted for development support from the MEDIA program in a given year. MEDIA will allocate support for the screenplay, casting, preparing a financial plan, marketing and piloting production. The EU MEDIA prize is part of the MEDIA program’s new €1.8 billion agenda set to kick off in 2014 and run through 2020 called “Creative Europe” meant to facilitate cultural exchange among film industry professionals through digital technology.

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