efaThe 26th European Film Awards ceremony just concluded tonight in Berlin. Last year, on its road to a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar win and a Best Picture nomination, Michael Haneke’s Amour won four prizes including Best European Film. This year, Italy’s Oscar entry The Great Beauty was the big winner with nods for film, director, lead actor, and a previously announced prize for editing. Paolo Sorrentino’s love letter to Rome, as seen through the eyes of a 65-year-old man, was a Cannes competitor earlier this year. Sorrentino was not on hand at the ceremony. The movie had four nominations tonight, The-Great-Beauty1losing out only in the screenwriting category where the prize went to France’s François Ozon for In The House. The most-nominated film this evening was Felix van Groeningen’s Berlin and Tribeca prize-winner, The Broken Circle Breakdown. Out of five nominations, the Oscar entry from Belgium walked away with one, for actress Veerle Baetens. Other major winners announced tonight included Ari Folman’s best animated feature The Congress. In what was an overriding theme of the night – collaboration between film industries – the Israeli director pointed out that nine different nations and 270 animators had contributed to the movie.

Opening the show, German comedy star and host of the evening, Anke Engelke, joked it was the first time Michael Haneke “won’t go home with 26 prizes.” After that, it took about 40 minutes to get to the first award presentation. But things then moved swiftly with some acceptance speeches consisting of little more than a simple “Thank you.” The previously announced recipient of the Co-production Prize, Romanian producer Ada Solomon (Child’s Pose), suggested that although Europe is in a state of crisis, it would be better to focus on the future. “A new cinema is coming. We have to look forwards and not backwards,” she said. There was also a more musical theme this evening than in the past. Black Book and Game Of Thrones actress Carice van Houten performed live with her band, and Pedro Almodovar, winner of the European Achivement in World Cinema prize, was serenaded in a comic bit by a coterie of actors with whom he has worked. But he turned serious accepting his award. Almodovar has been vocal in his belief that the government is threatening to demolish the Spanish film industry through a series of funding cuts and tax increases. This has been “one of the worst years for our industry, caused by the awful cultural policy of our government,” he said. But he also urged the community not to give up hope as a group of young directors emerges. In one of the most touching interludes of the evening, European Film Academy president Wim Wenders presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Catherine Deneuve. He called the Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, Indochine and 8 Women star, “a goddess. A queen of European cinema if we had royalty… The most beautiful woman on the earth.” After a montage of her work, Deneuve, in accepting the award, said it was very moving “because I have my films on DVD, but I never look at them because I never have time.” Given the range of work that was displayed in the montage, Deneuve thanked the academy for making her “feel more European than ever. I thought I was a French actress, but for a few years I feel more European than ever.” Following is the list of 2013 EFA winners:

European Film
The Great Beauty, dir: Paolo Sorrentino

Ripsnorter
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Joe - I agree, the backslapping and blowing knows no boundaries, but the major difference, outside the...
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Rip- Except for the tax part, WHAT exactly makes this different from the Oscars??? "self-appointed, taxpayer funded,...
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That pretty much sums up the European Film Awards and, all too often, European filmmaking in general....

European Director
Paolo Sorrentino, The Great Beauty

European Screenwriter
François Ozon, In The House

European Actor
Toni Servillo, The Great Beauty

European Actress
Veerle Baetens, The Broken Circle Breakdown

European Animated Feature
The Congress, dir: Ari Folman

European Documentary
The Act Of Killing, dir: Joshua Oppenheimer

European Comedy
Love Is All You Need, dir: Susanne Bier

European Discovery Award – FIPRESCI
Oh Boy!, dir: Jan Ole Gerster

European Short Film
Death Of A Shadow, dir: Tom Van Avermaet

European Composer
Ennio Morricone, The Best Offer

European Cinematographer
Asaf Sudry, Fill The Void

European Editor
Cristiano Travaglioli, The Great Beauty

European Production Designer
Sarah Greenwood, Anna Karenina

European Costume Designer
Paco Delgado, Blancanieves

European Sound Designers
Matz Müller and Erik Mischijew, Paradise: Faith

People’s Choice Award
The Gilded Cage, dir: Ruben Alves