Magazine article Screen International

EFAs: European Champions

Magazine article Screen International

EFAs: European Champions

Article excerpt

The European Film Awards' 2014 contenders show off a breadth of work. Sarah Cooper reports.

It is a mark of the diversity of European film-making that the nominees at the upcoming European Film Awards (EFAs) range from a Russian retelling of the Book of Job, to a chronicle of a woman's sexual adventures, to a dark comedy set in a French ski resort.

"The breadth of movies produced every year across Europe is incredible in its scope and diversity, and the European Film Awards is the place where we come together to celebrate that diversity, but also the common cultural themes we Europeans have," explains producer Mike Downey, deputy chairman of the Berlin-based European Film Academy, which produces the annual awards ceremony.

Every other year the EFAs travel from Berlin to a different European city, and the 27th edition will take place on December 13 in the Latvian capital of Riga, which also happens to be the 2014 European Capital of Culture. The awards ceremony receives a financial boost of $1.2m ([euro]1m) from the host city, which will be Wroclaw, Poland in 2016.

Runners and riders

Leading the pack with five nominations is Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida, which won the Fipresci special presentations prize at Toronto earlier this year. The 1960s-set Polish drama about a young nun will compete for European film of the year alongside Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Palme d'Or winner Winter Sleep set in the Anatolian mountains; Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev's much lauded Leviathan, which won the best screenplay award at Cannes; Swedish director Ruben Ostlund's Un Certain Regard jury award winner Force Majeure and Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac Director's Cut.

One noticeable omission from the list is the Dardenne brothers' Two Days, One Night, although Marion Cotillard has been nominated in the European actress category.

'Very often you discover a director has gone on to make a film with an actor or DoP that they discovered at our ceremony'Marion Döring, European Film Academy

For the last two years the winner of EFA's top prize -- Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty in 2013 and Michael Haneke's Amour in 2012 -- has gone on to win the foreign-language Oscar.

According to The Great Beauty's producer, Nicola Giuliano, the film's success at the EFAs -- it also won the European director, actress and editor awards -- was a crucial factor in helping to secure further prizes. …

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