It is an understatement to say that 2020 has been a strange year for everyone; in the strangest of years, The European Film Awards did not let restrictions and the fact that we could not all gather in Iceland for the awards in person stop them, and devised a week long series of virtual events to still celebrate cinema, even as we stayed apart.

 

The finale took place tonight (December 12th) in its hometown of Berlin, presented by TV host Stephen Gätjen who rightly acknowledged that 2020 has been a “sh**y year”. Gätjen went on to say that European cinema has been strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and “These difficult times have also shown that if she we stick together stand together and work together we can make it through”. Many of the nominees for the European Film Awards were made before Covid-19 hit, but they were released and screened during the exceptional circumstances of 2020. Gätjen  also reminded us that a virtual award ceremony is “true European spirit, because we are all together, but we are not”.

 

As well as the virtual audience watching from the comfort of our couches, more than 400 actors, actresses, producers, directors and cinema professionals joined the ceremony via video chat, including Nina Hoss, Luca Marinelli, and Viggo Mortensen who joined us from a London hotel room.

 

The award for European Director 2020 went to Thomas Vinterberg for ANOTHER ROUND “I am super excited! I am very very proud of this, the fact that I was in fantastic competition. I have to say, you’re giving me a directors award, but this film was made in the most difficult time of my life, and could only have been made with my friends and my family”, before brining is friends and his family, who had gathered in his home to watch the awards, into the shot and giving special thanks to his wife and lead actor Mads Mikkelsen.

The gong for European Discovery 2020 Carlo Sironi for SOLE. As well as thanking his actors, producers Sironi said “I am truly speechless; I wanna dedicate this prize to my father Alberto”, before revealing that he was home alone, so he was going to celebrate with his cat.

Paula Beer took the award for European Actress 2020 for her role in UNDINE. On accepting her award through a slight delay, Beer said “Thank you so much, that was really exciting. I didn’t expect that at all. Thank you to everyone who decided that… I am a bit somewhere else now, sorry!” Beer got over the shock of her win, thanked her colleagues and revealed that she had tested negative for Covid-19.

The award for European Actor 2020 went to Mads Mikkelsen for his role in ANOTHER ROUND. accepting his award, Mikkelsen said “Thank you so much for voting for me, I have to say thank you to my family and my fellow actors”, while promising to share his award with his fellow nominees as it is “unfair to do math on acting”, as well as his co-stars on ANOTHER ROUND.

Thomas Vinterberg  and Tobias Lindholm took the award for European Screenwriter 2020 for ANOTHER ROUND. Vnterberg said “I think in the time confinement, financial crisis and death, our attempt at making a life affirming film has succeeded. We are proud of it. I am getting all sentimental here. We started this in front of a computer, and we have ended it in front of a computer!”

The award for European Film 2020 went to ANOTHER ROUND by Thomas Vinterberg. On accepting the fourth award for the film of the night, Vinterberg said “Wim, about 30 years ago, I left film school and the first award I was ever awarded by anyone was by you, and the circle has ended here, and I am very touched to have been given an award by you”. Vinterberg went on to praise the European Film Academy, thank his wife (“She believed in the film much more than I did, which is always the case”) and his family.

 

Finally, the award for Innovative Storytelling went to Mark Cousins for his 14 hour film, WOMEN MAKE FILM: A NEW ROAD MOVIE THROUGH CINEMA. Cousins said “I thank the Euopean Film Academy for creating an award for innovation. I’d like to thank all the great female filmmakers who have made the history of cinema, whose names are tattooed on my arms. These are people who have inspired us all”.

 

Throughout the week, other awards were given out, and Polish director Agnieszka Holland was named as the new president of the European Film Academy, taking over from German director Wim Wenders who has been the president of the European Film Academy since 1996. Wenders and Marion Doring – who is also moving on from her role at the European Film Academy – got an emotional and lovely send off from some very familiar faces at the ceremony, who filmed their thanks in advance, including Ken Loach, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Delpy, Stephen Frears, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Ben Kingsley, Susanne Bier, four time EFA 2020 winner Thomas Vinterberg, and German chancellor Angela Merkel, who said “Your decades of work in and for the European Film Academy cannot be valued enough. I wish you all the best for the future”.

 

The full list of winners of European Film Awards 2020 is as follows;

European Cinematography 2020 – Matteo Cocco for HIDDEN AWAY
European Editing 2020 – Maria Fantastica Valmori for ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH
European Production Design 2020 – Cristina Casali for THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD
European Costume Design 2020 – Ursula Patzak for HIDDEN AWAY
European Make-Up and Hair 2020 – Yolanda Piña, Félix Terrero & Nacho Diaz for THE ENDLESS TRENCH
European Original Score – Dascha Dauenhauer for BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ
European Sound 2020 – Yolande Decarsin for LITTLE GIRL
European Visual Effects 2020 – Iñaki Madariaga for THE PLATFORM
European Short Film 2020 – ALL CATS ARE GREY IN THE DARK
European University Film Award 2020 – SAUDI RUNAWAY
European Comedy 2020 – THE BIG HIT, directed by Emmanuel Courcol
European Animated Feature Film 2020 – JOSEP, directed by Aurel
European Documentary 2020 – COLLECTIVE by Alexander Nanau
EURIMAGES CO-PRODUCTION AWARD 2020 – Luís Urbano, Portugal

LUX AUDIENCE AWARD

The LUX Audience Award is presented together with the European Parliament and supported by the European Commission and Europa Cinemas. As of 13 Dec, the new luxaward.eu website will be online and offer further information about the nominees and where they can be watched – online and offline – as well as a section to rate each movie.
The recipient of the new award will be determined by the general public and the Members of the European Parliament (each holding 50% of the vote). The winner will be announced in a ceremony in the European Parliament in late April 2021.

For more info visit luxaward.eu

Words – Brogen Hayes