On 12 December at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele Auditorium in Berlin the 28th European Film Awards ceremony was held to announce the 2015 winners of the prizes handed out by the European Film Academy (EFA) presided over by Wim Wenders. In his speech he called for the defence of multiculturalism and tolerance: “I think Europe is going through a great test. Politics shows us everything that should keep us apart. But European cinema reminds us of the things that unite us and this is one of our main missions”, he declared. He also made reference to the imprisonment of Ukrainian film maker Oleg Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years in prison, as the Academy is running a campaign to request his release. Emcee for the event was German comic Thomas Hermanns.
Paulo Sorrentino’s film Youth (La Giovinezza) was the big winner on the night, taking out the three major prizes of Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor for Michael Caine, who also received the Honorary Award. Caine appeared grateful picking up the prize, pointing out, “In 50 years I haven’t won a single award, and tonight I’m going home with two!” Charlotte Rampling also made it a double, winning Best Actress for her role in 45 Years and the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding career in film. French director François Ozon, who directed her in Young and Beautiful and Swimming Pool, presented her with the latter. Spanish thriller Marshland (La Isla Mínima) by Alberto Rodriguez took the People’s Choice Award, which was collected by actress Nerea Barrios. Leaving empty handed were Spanish actress Laia Costa, who was nominated for Best Actress for her role in the German pic Victoria, and José Luis Montesinos who was in the running with his short film El Corredor (The Runner). Actors Carlos Areces and Javier Cámara were on hand to present the award for Best Comedy, which went to the Swedish A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence by Roy Andersson. Isabel Coixet announced the Eurimages prize and then made way for Hispano-German actor Daniel Brühl to read a text by Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who in August the Russian Courts sentenced to 20 years in prison for alleged terrorist activities in the Crimean Peninsula. “Oleg, we will not forget about you and you have out ongoing support”, he concluded.
The Austrian actor Christoph Waltz collected the prize for European achievement in world cinema.
The discovery prize went to French film Mustang, by Franco-Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, which denounces the situation of women in Turkey. The film had also picked up the Silver Award at the last Valladolid International Film Festival (SEMINCI).
Josep M. Queraltó, president of the Aula Film Foundation – Josep M Queraltó Collection and a member of the EFA, attended the awards ceremony and some prior events, including a cocktail reception at the French Institute and the Academy’s General Assembly.
Full List of 2015 EFA Awards Winners
Best Film: Youth (La Giovinezza) directed by Paolo Sorrentino
Best Director: Paolo Sorrentino for Youth
Best Actress: Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years, by Andrew Haigh
Best Actor: Michael Caine in Youth
Best Screenplay: The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
Best Comedy: A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence (EN DUVA SATT PÅ EN GREN OCH FUNDERADE PÅ TILLVARON) by Roy Andersson
Best Documentary: Amy by Asif Kapadia
Best Animated Feature: Song of the Sea by Tomm Moore
Best Discovery – Prix FIPRESCI: Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven
People’s Choice Award: Marshland by Alberto Rodríguez
Best Short Film: Picnic (Piknik) directed by Jure Pavlovic
Best Cinematographer – Prix Carlo di Palma: Martin Gschlacht for Goodnight Mommy (Ich Seh Ich Seh), by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz
Best Costume Designer: Sarah Blenkinsop for The Lobster
Best Production Designer: Sylvie Olivé for The Brand New Testament (Le Tout nouveau testament), by Jaco Van Dormael
Best Composer: Cat’s Eyes for The Duke of Burgundy, by Peter Strickland
Best Sound Design: Vasco Pimentel and Miguel Martins Arabian Nights – VOL. I-III (As Mil e uma noites – Vol. I-III), by Miguel Gomes
Best Editor: Jacek Drosio, for Body (Ciało), by Malgorzata Szumowska
European Co-production Award – Prix Eurimages: Andrea Occhipinti
Honorary Award from the EFA President: Michael Caine
EFA Lifetime Achievement Award: Charlotte Rampling
Award for European Achievement in World Cinema: Christoph Waltz