Dozen films fight for European prize

EFA picks People's Choice nominees

BERLIN — German box office hits “The Wave,” by Dennis Gansel, and Til Schweiger’s “Rabbit Without Ears” are taking on David Yates’ “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and Joe Wright’s “Atonement” for the European Film Academy’s People’s Choice Award.

A total of 12 pics were nominated for the award, including Peter Flinth’s Swedish epic “Arn: The Knight Templar,” Nic Balthazar’s Belgian-Dutch drama “Ben X” and Dany Boon’s French comedy “Welcome to the Sticks.”

The special prize allows film fans from across the continent to vote for their favorite film at from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31.

Also selected are two Spanish horror films, Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Orphanage” and “[Rec]” by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza; Claude Berri’s Gallic romantic drama starring Audrey Tautou, “Hunting and Gathering”; “Mongol,” Sergei Bodrov’s Russian-Kazakh-German historical epic about Genghis Khan; and Turkish drama “Saturno Contro,” by Ferzan Ozpetek.

Past winners of the European Film Academy’s People’s Choice Awards have included Pedro Almodovar’s “Volver,” Roberto Benigni’s “Life Is Beautiful” and Fatih Akin’s “Head-On.”

The winner will be announced at the 21st European Film Awards Ceremony on Dec. 6 in Copenhagen.

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