'Artist,' 'Bike,' 'Speech' 'World' also vie for best film

SEVILLE, Spain– Lars von Trier’s end-of-the-world drama “Melancholia” tops nominations for this year’s European Film Awards — Europe’s equivalent of the Oscars — with eight mentions.

“Melancholia’s” noms include best pic, director, actress (both Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gaingsbourg) and screenwriter.

Von Trier’s film vies for the pic prize with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s “The Kid With a Bike,” Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World,” Aki Kaurismaki’s “Le Havre,” Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” and Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist.” “Melancholia’s” rivals in the category all snagged four nominations.

Announced Saturday at Spain’s Seville Film Festival, noms suggest that EFA members haven’t let Von Trier’s outburst and ban at Cannes in May damage “Melancholia’s” chances of a best pic award, at least at this nomination stage.

The Cannes fest declared Von Trier “persona non grata” after he declared he felt “sympathy” for Adolf Hitler at “Melancholia’s” press conference.

“I hope that nominations free audiences from prejudices against the film and they see it as just a film,” said Golem’s Josetxo Moreno, who releases “Melancholia” this weekend in Spain.

The lion’s share of EFA noms went to box office hits or auteurs who command international audiences.

In a clear bet on established European helmers, the director award sees the same competitors as the pic prize, replacing Hazanavicius with Hungarian Bela Tarr (“The Turin Horse”).

The 24th EFA winners will be unveiled Dec. 3 in Berlin.

And the nominees are:

EUROPEAN FILM 2011

-”The Artist,” France; directed by Michel Hazanavicius; produced by Thomas Langmann & Emmanuel Montamat

-”Le gamin au velo” (The Kid with a Bike); Belgium, France, Italy; directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; produced by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd and Andrea Occhipinti

-”Haevnen” (In a Better World), Denmark; Susanne Bier; produced by Sisse Graum Jorgensen

-”The King’s Speech,” U.K.; directed by Tom Hooper; produced by Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin

-”Le Havre,” Finland, France, Germany; directed by Aki Kaurismaki; produced by Aki Kaurismaki and Karl Baumgartner

-”Melancholia,” Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany; directed by Lars von Trier; produced by Meta Louise Foldager and Louise Vesth

EUROPEAN DIRECTOR 2011

-Susanne Bier for “In a Better World”

-Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for “The Kid with a Bike”

-Aki Kaurismaki for “Le Havre”

-Bela Tarr for “A Torinoi Lo” (The Turin Horse)

-Lars von Trier for “Melancholia”

EUROPEAN ACTRESS 2011

-Kirsten Dunst in “Melancholia”

-Cecile de France in “The Kid with a Bike”

-Charlotte Gainsbourg in “Melancholia”

-Nadezhda Markina in “Elena”

-Tilda Swinton in “We Need to Talk about Kevin”

EUROPEAN ACTOR 2011

-Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”

-Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”

-Mikael Persbrandt in “In a Better World”

-Michel Piccoli in “Habemus Papam”

-Andre Wilms in “Le Havre”

EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER 2011

-Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for “The Kid with a Bike”

-Anders Thomas Jensen for “In a Better World”

-Aki Kaurismaki for “Le Havre”

-Lars von Trier for “Melancholia”

CARLO DI PALMA EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER AWARD 2011

-Manuel Alberto Claro for “Melancholia”

-Fred Kelemen for “The Turin Horse”

-Guillaume Schiffman for “The Artist”

-Adam Sikora for “Essential Killing”

EUROPEAN EDITOR 2011

-Tariq Anwar for “The King’s Speech”

-Mathilde Bonnefoy for “Drei” (Three)

-Molly Marlene Stensgaard for “Melancholia”

EUROPEAN PRODUCTION DESIGNER 2011

-Paola Bizzarri for “Habemus Papam”

-Antxon Gomez for “La piel que habito” (The Skin I Live in)

-Jette Lehmann for “Melancholia”

EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2011

-Ludovic Bource for “The Artist”

-Alexandre Desplat for “The King’s Speech”

-Alberto Iglesias for “The Skin I Live in”

-Mihaly Vig for “The Turin Horse”

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