Austrian director Michael Haneke scooped the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film with Amour, a moving portrayal of an elderly couple as they approach the end of their lives. Searching for Sugar Man, the true story of rock guitarist Sixto Rodríguez, who vanished into obscurity in the mid-70s only to be re-rediscovered working as a labourer, won Best Documentary Feature. The two winners were among six nominated films supported by the MEDIA programme for cinema, which have received € 2 million in EU funding to date.

85th Academy Awards in Hollywood

Commissioner Vassiliou, who attended the premiere of Amour at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d'Or, said: "What a great night for the European film industry and the MEDIA programme. Amour is a masterpiece of European cinema, beautifully written and beautifully acted. My warmest congratulations go to Michel Haneke." The Commissioner also paid tribute to director-producer team Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn for their success: "Searching for Sugar Man is an incredible story and I'm sure it will now be an even bigger hit," she commented.

The MEDIA programme aims to boost diversity and competitiveness in the European audiovisual sector through funding for film development, promotion and the distribution of European films outside their country of origin. MEDIA will form part of the new Creative Europe programme from 2014.

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European Commission: MEDIA programme

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