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‘Collective’ Wins ‘Best Documentary’ at European Film Awards

The 33rd European Film Awards were handed out via a virtual ceremony from Berlin Saturday, Dec. 12.

The best actress honor when to Paula Beer for the titular role in Christian Petzold’s love story Undine, a variation on the myth of water nymph Undine, who must kill every lover who leaves her. 

Best European documentary went to Alexander Nanau for Collective, a furious look at hospital corruption in Romania, which is also an inside look at investigative journalism.

The European Discovery — Prix Fipresci for a work by a first-time director, went to Italian filmmaker Carlo Sironi for his debut Sole, a hard-hitting drama about a pregnant woman from Eastern Europe who comes to Italy to sell her unborn child.

Irish director and film historian Marc Cousins won the inaugural EFA Award for Innovative Storytelling for his groundbreaking, 14-hour documentary Women Make Films.

Portuguese producer Luís Urbano of Lisbon’s  O Som e a Fúria shingle won the Eurimages Co-Production Award for his contribution as a co-producer on such features as Ira Sachs’ Frankie, Joao Nicolau’s Technoboss, and Goncalo Waddington’s Patrick

Hidden Away, Giorgio Diritti’s portrait of self-taught Italian painter Antonio Ligabue, won European Film honors for best cinematography (for cameraman Matteo Cocco) and for Ursula Patzak for best costume design. Dascha Dauenhauer won best original score for her soundtrack to Burhan Qurbani’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, a modern-day adaptation of Alfred Döblin’s 1929 literary classic. 

The Platform, a dystopian drama, that Netflix picked up worldwide, won the European Film Prize for best visual effects for Inaki Madariaga. 

Other winners included Cristina Casali, who took best production design for his work on Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, best editor winner Maria Fantastica Valmori for Il Varco—Once More Unto The Breach, a war documentary from Italian directors Federico Ferrone, and Michele Manzolini, period drama The Endless Trench, about a man who hides from Spanish fascist authorities for 30 years, which won the best hair and makeup honor for Yolanda Pina, Felix Terrero, and Yolande Decarsin and Kristian Selin Eidnes Andersens, who won best sound design for Sébastien Lifshitz’s documentary Little Girl, a look an eight-year-old French child who questions their gender. 

For the first time this year, the European Film Awards were presented online, part of a week-long series of virtual events leading up to Saturday’s virtual gala. This year’s nominees, dozens of them, were connected via video link. 

A highlight was an unexpected video from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who sent a message thanking outgoing European Film Academy President Wim Wenders and EFA Director Marion Döring.  Polish director Agnieszka Holland and the former Director of the Berlinale’s European Film Market Matthijs Wouter Knol will take over from Wenders and Döring next year. 

The ceremony was a relaxed affair, with the The only major technical mishap happened during the Mark Cousins’ acceptance speech for Women Make Films, where a time delay led to an amusing back-and-forth between Cousins and the awards presenter, German director Emily Atef. 

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