Romanian movie triumphs at European Film Awards
Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days was triumphant again, capturing the best film and directing trophies at the 20th annual European Film Awards.
"I'm very honoured by the award," said director Cristian Mungiu at the gala in Berlin on Saturday night.
The low-budget film centres on the harrowing plight of two women, one of whom is trying to get an illegal abortion during Communist-era Romania.
The film won the Palme d'Or earlier this year at the Cannes Film festival and picked up a similar prize at the Stockholm Film Festival one week ago.
Among the 17 awards handed outSaturday night was:
Best actress to Helen Mirren for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, for which she already garnered an Oscar, and best actor to Sasson Gabi for The Band's Visit.The Israeli film, about an Egyptian police band lost in an Israeli city, also won director Eran Kolirin an award for best debut film.
German film The Edge of Heaven won best screenplay. Directed by Fatih Akin, the movie is a cross-cultural German-Turkish tale of loss and forgiveness.Akin also took the best screenplay trophy at Cannes.
Other winners included:
- Documentary: Le Papier Ne Peut Pas Envelopper La Braise (Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers), by Rithy Panh.
- Critic's Award: Coeurs, by Alain Resnais.
- European Cinematographer: Frank Griebe for Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.
- The Prix D'Excellence: Uli Hanisch for Production Design on Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.
- The People's Choice Award: La Sconosciuta (The Unknown ), by Giuseppe Tornatore.
French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard was honoured by the European Film Academy with a lifetime achievement award, but opted not to attend.
"I say at the same time thank you and no thank you," said Godard in an interview on the eve of the ceremony."When someone says I have created a life's work, I have to accept this. But it is my way of criticism not to go there. I don't have the impression that I have made a career. In French, the word also means quarry and in this sense I can accept it."
The legendary 76-year-old director's oeuvre includes classics from the French New Wave movement such as:
- À Bout de souffle (Breathless).
- Une Femme est une femme (Woman is a Woman).
- Bande à part (A Band Apart).
- Masculin, feminin.
The European Film Academy, founded in 1988, is dedicated towards promoting European film culture. It boasts 18,000 members who work in the business.