SEVILLE, Spain –Surprising pundits, Belgian Felix van Groeningen’s drama “The Broken Circle Breakdown” led nominations for this year’s 26th European Film Academy Awards – Europe’s Oscars – scoring in five categories.

Competing in one of the most open EFA races in years, “Breakdown” faces off for best pic with Giuseppe Tornatore’s “The Best Offer,” Pablo Berger’s “Blancanieves,” Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty,” Jan Ole Gerster’s “Oh Boy!” and – the probable favorite – Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or winner, “Adele: Chapters 1 & 2.”

Belgium’s foreign-language Oscar contender and a Tribeca Film U.S. pickup – “Breakdown” has received glowing reviews. Pic narrates the romance between a tattoo parlor owner and a banjo player.

Confounding predictions, Francois Ozon’s “In the House” and adventure film “Kon-Tiki” didn’t make the best pic cut.

However, “House” snagged director and screenwriter (Ozon), plus actor (Fabrice Luchini).

This year’s Awards are shaping up as a generational smack-down between three young up-and-coming directors (Van Groeningen, Berger, Gerster) and two esteemed auteurs, both Italian (Tornatore, Sorrentino), with the large question of whether the Academy will, as twice since 2009, follow Cannes’ lead and choose its Palme d’Or laureate as best picture.

The EFA board itself put forward “Adele” as one of 2013’s six best pic nominations, despite it absence from the original 46-title EFA long-list, given rights-holder Wild Bunch’s piracy concerns.

Now that “Adele” has launched in major territories, it will be made available on VOD systems alone.

“The Academy board has the right to add one nomination in each category,” EFA director Marion Doring explained Saturday at Spain’s Seville European Film Fest, where the nominations were announced.

Shut out of best pic, “Anna Karenina’s” leads Keira Knightley and Jude Law have scored acting noms.

Knightley’s best actress competitors are Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”), Veerle Baetens (“The Broken Circle Breakdown”), Barbara Sukowa (“Hannah Arendt”) and Luminita Gheorghiu (“Child’s Pose”).

The battle for best European comedy award, a new EFA category, includes films from Oscar winners Pedro Almodovar (“I’m So Excited!”) and Susanne Bier (“Love Is All You Need”).

EFA’s 2,900 members now vote for Saturday’s nominations. The 26th European Film Awards ceremony takes place Dec. 7 in Berlin.

And the nominees are:


-“The Best Offer”; Italy; directed by Giuseppe Tornatore; produced by Isabella Cocuzza and Arturo Paglia

-“Blancanieves”; Spain, France; directed by Pablo Berger; produced by Ibon Cormenzana, Jerome Vidal and Pablo Berger

-“The Broken Circle Breakdown”; Belgium; directed by Felix van Groeningen; produced by Dirk Impens

-“The Great Beauty”; Italy, France; directed by Paolo Sorrentino; produced by Nicola Giuliano and Francesca Cima

-“Oh Boy!”; Germany; directed by Jan Ole Gerster; produced by Marcos Kantis and Alexander Wadouh

-“Adele: Chapters 1 & 2”; France; directed by Adellatif Kechiche; produced by Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval and Kechiche


-“I’m So Excited!”; Spain; directed by Pedro Almodovar; produced by Agustin Almodovar and Esther Garcia

-“Welcome Mr. President!”; Italy; directed by Riccardo Milani; produced by Nicola Giuliano and Francesca Cima”

-”Love Is All You Need”; Denmark; directed by Susanne Bier; produced by Sisse Graum Jorgensen, Vibeke Windelov

-“The Priest’s Children”; Croatia; Serbia; directed by Vinko Bresan; produced by Ivan Maloca


-Pablo Berger for “Blancanieves”

-Felix Van Groeningen for “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

-Adellatif Kechiche for “Adele: Chapters 1 & 2”

-Francois Ozon for “In the House”

-Paolo Sorrentino for “The Great Beauty”

-Giuseppe Tornatore for “The Best Offer”


-Keira Knightley in “Anna Karenina”

-Veerle Baetens in “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

-Barbara Sukowa in “Hannah Arendt”

-Naomi Watts in “The Impossible”

-Luminita Gheorghiu in “Child’s Pose”


-Jude Law in “Anna Karenina”

-Johan Heldenbergh in “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

-Fabrice Luchini in “In the House”

-Toni Servillo in “The Great Beauty”

-Tom Schilling in “Oh Boy!”


-Tom Stoppard for “Anna Karenina”

-Giuseppe Tornatore for “The Best Offer”

-Carl Joos and Felix Van Groeningen for “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

-Francois Ozon for “In the House”

-Paolo Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello for “The Great Beauty”