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Felix gets new look, gender

BERLIN — The European Film Academy’s Felix award is getting a sex change.

The Berlin-based Academy announced Wednesday that the winners at the 10th annual European Film Awards ceremony will be presented with a new statuette. The Felix, which depicted a man holding a bird, will be discarded in favor of a trophy featuring a woman in a dress decorated with the stars of Europe.

Spokeswoman Marion Doering explained that the change is part of the Academy’s ongoing efforts to revamp its image and improve its international profile.

“We want to give the award a new face,” Doering said. The new statue, designed by British artist Theo Fennell, has yet to be given a name.

This year’s awards ceremony will take place Dec. 6 in an airplane hangar at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport.

The candidates for European Film of the Year are Peter Cattaneo’s “The Full Monty”; Anthony Minghella’s “The English Patient”; Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element”; Bertrand Tavernier’s “Capitaine Conan”; Bosnian director Ademir Kenovic’s “Savrseni Krug” (The Perfect Circle); and Russian helmer Pavel Chukhrai’s “Vor” (The Thief).

The Academy will also present awards in several other categories, including best actor and actress, foreign film and docu. The winners of three newly introduced prizes will be chosen by European moviegoers.