Euro Film Academy Take Laffers Seriously

Academy introduces comedy pix award category

LONDON — Comedy movies tend to be taken less seriously than their dramatic counterparts when it comes to awards recognition, apart from at the Golden Globes. Now the European Film Academy is looking to give laffers some love.

The academy has decided to introduce a European comedy pic category as part of its annual awards contest, which will feature three nominees selected by special committee, with the winner voted for by the academy membership of more than 2,800.

The academy board said the move was designed to “pay tribute to a genre that has proven that it is able to unite and entertain audiences across Europe and beyond.”

Many of the most successful European films of all-time have been comedies, including the highest grossing non-English language film of all-time, the 2011 French comedy “Intouchables,” which grossed over $440 million worldwide.

This year local comedy hits include “Kokowaah 2” in Germany ($25.8 million) and Austria ($2.1 million), “Il Principe Abusivo” in Italy ($19 million), “Boule et Bill” in France ($16.1 million), “Loving Ibiza” in the Netherlands ($7.5 million) and “21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage” in Finland ($4.5 million), which have topped the local-language charts. Several are their country’s top grossing film for the year to date.

All could be considered for the new award as could titles such as Working Title’s “I Give it a Year” from the U.K. and Pedro Almodovar’s “I’m So Excited” from Spain, alongside many more.

This year will also see the academy re-launch awards for European sound and costume designers, bringing the total number of categories for the 26th awards to 21. The winners of these two categories will be decided by a seven-member jury. This is a new addition to the awarding procedure, which will also be used to determine the winners in the European cinematographer, editor, production designer and composer categories.

The jury will consist of a director, cinematographer, production designer/costume designer, composer/sound designer, editor, producer and festival director.

The 26th European Film Awards takes place Dec. 7 in Berlin.

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