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Italy pack leads European nominees

'Gomorrah,' 'Divo' top Film Award mentions

SEVILLE, Spain — Italian films lead the nominations for this year’s European Film Awards, with Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah” and Paolo Sorrentino’s “Il Divo” nabbing five mentions apiece, including best picture.

Germany, which won EFA best pic kudos over four of the past five years, landed just one pic nom this time around, for Ari Folman’s Israeli co-production “Waltz With Bashir,” in which it has a stake with France. The other film contenders are Mike Leigh’s comedy “Happy-Go-Lucky,” French helmer Laurent Cantet’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The Class” and Spaniard Juan Antonio Bayona’s directorial debut, “The Orphanage.”

“Orphanage” and “Waltz With Bashir” grabbed four noms each.

Garrone’s damning portrait of Naples’ Mafia, Cannes Grand Prix winner and Italy’s foreign-language Oscar entry, pic landed noms for picture, director, actor (Toni Servillo), screenwriter (for six scribes including Garrone and journo Roberto Saviano) and d.p. (Marco Onorato).

“Il Divo,” Sorrentino’s biting biopic of seven-time Italo Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, which took Cannes’ jury prize, is also up for picture, director, actor (Servillo), screenwriter (Sorrentino) and cinematographer (Luca Bigazzi).

Noms for the 21st European Film Awards were announced Saturday at the Seville European Film Fest.

“These nominations are another good sign for Italian cinema. I hope this continues,” Garrone said in Seville, where “Gomorrah” opened the fest Friday, with Saviano, author of the book on which the film is based, in attendance, protected by a posse of security guards.

Competing for director kudos, Garrone and Sorrentino are up against Cantet, Folman, the U.K.’s Steve McQueen (“Hunger”) and Germany’s Andreas Dresen (“Cloud 9”).

Servillo will compete for the actor nod with Michael Fassbender (“Hunger”), Thure Lindhardt and Mads Mikkelsen (“Flame & Citron”), James McAvoy (“Atonement”), Jurgen Vogel (“The Wave”) and Elmar Wepper (“Cherry Blossoms”).

British actress Sally Hawkins, winner of a Berlin Silver Bear for “Happy-Go-Lucky,” faces off against Kristin Scott Thomas (“I’ve Loved You So Long”), Hiam Abbass (“Lemon Tree”), Arta Dobroshi (“Lorna’s Silence”), Belen Rueda (“The Orphanage”) and Ursula Werner (“Cloud 9”) for European actress kudos.

The 1,800 EFA members vote for the winners. Kudofest will be held Dec. 6. in Copenhagen.

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