Juliette Binoche named new President of European Film Academy

2024-03-15 12:11:35

French actress Juliette Binoche (Trois Couleurs: BleuThe English PatientThe Taste of Things) will be the next president of the European Film Academy Board, succeeding Polish director Agnieszka Holland (Europa, EuropaSpoorGreen Border), who plans to fully dedicate her time to making films.

Binoche was unanimously proposed by the board members after Holland decided to step down.

Holland stated: “I am not a person to easily step aside, but I have come to the conclusion that I am a filmmaker first and foremost. And this is what I want to focus on in the years to come.”

Holland’s recent film, Green Border, won the Special Jury Prize at Venice last year and she is preparing to start filming her Kafka biopic, Franz.

We interviewed Holland at the most recent European Film Awards - Europe’s equivalent to the Oscars – to talk about Green Border (one of her greatest films to date) and the current state of the European cinema landscape, as the role of EFA President not only “embodies what the Academy wishes to stand for,” according to the organisation, but also represents the interests of the European film industry.

Agnieszka Holland speaking to Euronews Culture in December 2023

In her recent statement, Holland added: “I have always felt honoured to act as President of the European Film Academy, having taken over from Wim Wenders, who followed in the footsteps of Ingmar Bergman. But for me, it is time to step aside now. Knowing that Juliette Binoche is willing to pick up the baton strengthens my feeling that this is a decision taken at the right moment.”

Holland, who became President of the EFA in 2021, was the first female president of the board. She succeeded German director Wim Wenders, who we also recently interviewed for his latest film Perfect Days, and who was the second-ever president of the EFA, succeeding the founder - Swedish director Ingmar Bergman - in 1996.

Mike Downey, the current chair of the board, and Academy CEO Matthijs Wouter Knol said the following on Holland: “We want to honour Agnieszka Holland’s wish and completely understand that responsibilities besides filmmaking, however inspiring and important, can sometimes stand in the way of creating art. A decision like this is also one that makes us realise how much we owe to Agnieszka Holland’s work for our institution.”

“On behalf of the European Film Academy, we would like to thank her for her tremendous support, strength and strong vision in all the functions she has fulfilled within the structure of the Academy. Without this, the work done in the past years would not have been the same – and it would certainly not have been as pleasant.”

Binoche’s appointment officially begins on 1 May 2024.

She is the only woman to have won best actress honours at all three top European film festivals - taking the Volpi Cup in Venice for Trois Couleurs: Bleu in 1993, Berlin’s Silver Bear for The English Patient in 1996 (for the role that also won her the 1997 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), and the Palme d’Or in Cannes for Certified Copy (2010).

The actress can currently be seen in the Cannes premiering The Taste of Things, as well as Apple TV+ limited series The New Look, in which she plays Coco Chanel opposite Ben Mendelsohn.


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