BERLIN — Named European film of the year, Pedro Almodovar’s “All About My Mother” was the big winner Saturday night at the 12th annual European Film Awards in Berlin. Pic won Almodovar best director kudos at Cannes and has been named Spain’s submission for the best foreign language Oscar.
Almodovar also garnered the People’s Choice Award for best European director. The film’s star, Cecilia Roth, took the prize for actress of the year.
Ralph Fiennes won actor of the year for the Hungarian film “Sunshine,” the evening’s other most celebrated pic. Upon accepting the prize, the actor thanked writer-director Istvan Szabo and co-writer Israel Horovitz for their courage and vision in an industry dominated by “commercial necessities.”
Szabo and Horovitz received European screenwriter of the year honors for the pic, while Hungarian lenser Lajos Koltai won the European cinematographer prize for his work on “Sunshine” and Italian pic “The Legend of 1900.”
European Film Academy president Wim Wenders didn’t make it to the ceremony although he was the only German talent to be honored. The director won the European documentary award for his chronicle of aging Cuban jazz musicians, “Buena Vista Social Club.”
David Lynch was on hand to accept the Screen Intl. Award for a non-European film for “The Straight Story.”
French pic “Adieu, plancher des vaches” (Farewell home sweet home) from Georgian director Otar Iosseliani won the European critics’ award.
Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who were not present at the ceremony, picked up the People’s Choice Awards for European actor and actress for their roles in “Entrapment.” Actor-director Tim Roth, who also missed the show, garnered the European Discovery-Fassbinder Award for his directorial debut, “The War Zone.”
Antonio Banderas and Roman Polanski were awarded European achievement in world cinema awards, while Italian composer Ennio Morricone was given a standing ovation when presented with the European Film Academy lifetime achievement Award.
“Benvenuto in San Salvario” (Welcome to San Salvario) from Italy’s Enrico Verra was named best European short film.