Elbaum, Thiltges awarded Prix Eurimages

European co-production prize now in its third year

BERLIN -- Diana Elbaum and Jani Thiltges -- veteran producers from two of Europe's tiniest countries -- are the joint winners of this year's Prix Eurimages.

The prize, now in its third year, honors excellence in European co-production and takes its name from the European Council's Euroimages co-production subsidy fund.

Through her Entre Chein et Loup production house in Belgium Elbaum has co-produced European art house fare ranging from Marina de Van's psychodrama "Don't Look Back" starring Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci to the Pierre Paul Renders' comedy "Mr. Average" (2006) to the period drama "Saint-Cyr" (2000) featuring Isabelle Huppert. From his base in Luxembourg, Thiltges and his Samsa Film operation have delivered some 40 features, among them Ben Sombogaart's Oscar-nominee "Twin Sisters" (2002) and action comedy "JCVD" starring Mr. Muscles from Brussels himself, Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Elbaum and Thiltges also helped form, together with Patrick Quinet, Sebastien Delloye and Claude Waringo, the Paris-based outfit Liaison Cinematographique. They shared co-production credits on recent European stand-outs as Sam Garbarski's "Irina Palm" (2007) and Amos Kollek's "Restless" (2008).

Both producers will receive their award at the 2009 European Film Awards in Bochum, Germany Dec. 12.