Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Ida’ Wins Best Film at the European Film Awards

Polish film takes awards for director, screenplay and cinematography

RIGA, Latvia — Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Ida,” which centers on a young Catholic nun in Poland who discovers her parents were Jewish and were murdered during the Nazi occupation, took the best film award at the 27th European Film Awards in Riga, Latvia.

Eric Abraham, one of the producers of the film, dedicated the award to the people whose relatives were victims of the Holocaust, which included members of his own family. He remarked on the fact that anti-semitism was again on the rise.

Pawlikowski won best director, and he and Rebecca Lenkiewicz took the screenplay prize for the black-and-white Polish-language film, which also won the People’s Choice Award, voted on by the public. The pic also took the award for its cinematographers, Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski. Pawlikowski thanked Abraham for taking on a “difficult” director.

The award for actor was collected by Timothy Spall for “Mr. Turner,” Mike Leigh’s portrait of the pioneering English landscape painter. Spall questioned the wisdom of comparing performances and films that were so different. “It’s like comparing bananas and pineapples,” he said, but gave thanks from “this rotten English apple.” Spall also thanked his wife for supporting him while he was working on the film. “My entrails were spilled from my insides, and she had to pick them up, stick them back in and sew me up,” he said.

Marion Cotillard won the award for actress for the Dardenne brothers’ “Two Days, One Night,” in which she plays a working-class wife and mother on the brink of losing her job.

The comedy film prize went to “The Mafia Only Kills in the Summer.” Director Pierfrancesco Diliberto said he was proud to come from Sicily but dedicated the award to the victims of the Mafia. “I will never forget them,” he said.

The European Discovery Award for a debut film went to Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s “The Tribe” from Ukraine. Slaboshpytskiy dedicated his award to Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is in jail in Moscow. Sentsov opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

The animated feature film award was picked up by Italy’s “The Art of Happiness,” directed by Alessandro Rak.

The documentary award went to Marc Bauder’s “Master of the Universe,” a Germany-Austria co-production.

“The Dark Valley” picked up awards for its production designer, Claus-Rudolf Amler, and costume designer, Natascha Curtius-Noss. Justine Wright won the prize for editor for “Locke.” The composer award went to Mica Levi for “Under the Skin,” and the top sound designer was Joakim Sundstrom for “Starred Up.”

British director Steve McQueen received the honorary award for European achievement in world cinema. McQueen told the audience: “Cinema is a powerful tool — it can change lives. Artists have a responsibility to push forward the idea of humanity, the idea that we are all one.”

Agnes Varda was presented with the lifetime achievement award for her “outstanding body of work.” Varda said there should be more women nominated for best director.

More than 3,000 members of the European Film Academy voted for the winners, except the craft categories, which were decided by jury, and People’s Choice, which was voted for by the public.

“Ida” was a clear front-runner at the nominations stage with entries in five categories. The film was nominated for European film, director, writer and had two nominations for actress — for Agata Kulesza and Agata Trzebuchowska. The film had previously won the EFA prize for cinematographer.

Another front-runner was Russia’s dark satire “Leviathan,” which centers on an ordinary man’s battle with corrupt public officials. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s film, which picked up the scriptwriting prize in Cannes, was nominated at the EFAs for film, director, actor for Alexey Serebryakov’s performance, and writer for Oleg Negin and Andrey Zvyagintsev.

“Locke,” which listens in on the phone calls of a construction manager as he seeks to salvage his marriage and a crucial building project, was nominated for director and writer, Steven Knight on both counts, and actor for Tom Hardy. The film’s Justine Wright had already won the prize for editor.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Winter Sleep,” which won Cannes’ Palme d’Or, and Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac” were nominated in three categories each. “Winter Sleep,” which centers on an aloof aging actor-writer whose relationships are beginning to crumble, was up for film, director and writer. “Nymphomaniac,” which follows a woman’s voyage of sexual exploration, was nominated for film, actress for Charlotte Gainsbourg, and actor for Stellan Skarsgard.


Directed by: Pawel Pawlikowski
Written by: Pawel Pawlikowski & Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Produced by: Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczynska & Christian Husum

Written and directed by: Ruben Ostlund
Produced by: Erik Hemmendorff, Marie Kjellson & Philippe Bober

Directed by: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Written by: Oleg Negin & Andrey Zvyagintsev
Produced by: Alexander Rodnyansky & Sergey Melkumov

Written & directed by: Lars von Trier
Produced by: Louise Vesth

Directed by: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Written by: Ebru Ceylan & Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Produced by: Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan

Directed by: Pierfrancesco Diliberto
Written by: Michele Astori, Pierfrancesco Diliberto & Marco Martani
Produced by: Mario Gianani & Lorenzo Mieli

Written & directed by: Paco Leon
Produced by: Paco Leon, Ghislain Barrois & Alvaro Augustin

Directed by: Roger Michel
Written by: Hanif Kureishi
Produced by: Kevin Loader

WINNER: Pawel Pawlikowski for “Ida”
Nuri Bilge Ceylan for “Winter Sleep” (Kis Uykusu)
Steven Knight for “Locke”
Ruben Ostlund for “Force Majeure” (Turist)
Paolo Virzi for “Human Capital” (Il Capitale Umano)
Andrey Zvyagintsev for “Leviathan” (Leviafan)

WINNER: Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night” (Deux Jours, Une Nuit)
Marian Alvarez in “Wounded” (La Herida)
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi in “Human Capital” (Il Capitale Umano)
Charlotte Gainsbourg in “Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut – Volume I & 2”
Agata Kulesza in “Ida”
Agata Trzebuchowska in “Ida”

WINNER: Timothy Spall in “Mr. Turner”
Brendan Gleeson in “Calvary”
Tom Hardy in “Locke”
Alexey Serebryakov in “Leviathan” (Leviafan)
Stellan Skarsgard in “Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut – Volume 1 & 2”

WINNER: Pawel Pawlikowski & Rebecca Lenkiewicz for “Ida”
Ebru Ceylan & Nuri Bilge Ceylan for “Winter Sleep” (Kis Uykusu)
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne for “Two Days, One Night” (Deux Jours, Une Nuit)
Steven Knight for “Locke”
Oleg Negin & Andrey Zvyagintsev for “Leviathan” (Leviafan)

WINNER: “The Art of Happiness”
Directed by: Alessandro Rak
Written by: Alessandro Rak and Luciano Stella
Animation: Alessandro Rak, Ivan Cappiello, Dario Sansone, Marino Guarnieri, Annarita Calligaris, Ivana Verze, Laura Sammati, Antonia Emanuela Angrisani, Corrado Piscitelli, Flavio Di Biase, Giorgio Siravo, Sergio Chimenti, Ilaria Jones, Antonio Funaro, Danilo Florio, Mirko Prota, Alberto Panico, Paolo Acampora and Marco Iannaccone

“Jack and the Cuckoo-clock Heart”
Written and directed by: Mathias Malzieu and Stephane Berla
Animation: Nicolette Ceccoli, Stephane Martinez and Robert Cepo

“Minuscule – Valley of the Lost Ants”
Written and directed by: Thomas Szabo and Helene Giraud

WINNER: “The Tribe”
Written and directed by: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy
Produced by: Valentyn Vasyanovych and Iya Myslytska

“10,000 KM”
Directed by: Carlos Marques-Marcet
Written by: Carlos Marques-Marcet and Clara Roquet
Produced by: Tono Folguera, Sergi Moreno, Jana Diaz Juhl, Danielle Schleif and Pau Brunet

Directed by: Yann Demange
Written by: Gregory Burke
Produced by: Angus Lamont

“Party Girl”
Written and directed by: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis
Produced by: Marie Masmonteil and Denis Carot

“Wounded” (La Herida)
Directed by: Fernando Franco
Written by: Fernando Franco and Enric Rufas
Produced by: Koldo Zuazua

WINNER: “Master of the Universe”
Directed by: Marc Bauder
Produced by: Marc Bauder and Markus Glaser
Investment bankers are the real Masters of the Universe, not politicians, armies or even countries.

“Just the Right Amount of Violence”
Written and directed by: Jon Bang Carlsen
Produced by: Helle Ulsten and Jon Bang Carlsen
So-called “interventionists” enter suburban homes in the night and rip troubled teens from their beds to transport them, against their will, to a reform school in Utah.

“Of Men and War”
Written, directed & produced by: Laurent Becue-Renard
Anger consumes a dozen combat vets long after their return from the front as they attempt to make peace with themselves, their past, and their families.

“Sacro Gra”
Directed by: Gianfranco Rosi
Written by: Nicolo Bassetti
Produced by: Marco Visalberghi and Carole Solive
Rome’s giant ring road – the Grande Raccordo Anulare, or GRA – and the invisible worlds and possible futures harbored in this area of constant turmoil.

“Waiting for August”
Written and directed by: Teodora Ana Mihai
Produced by: Hanne Phlypo and Antoine Vermeesch
During their mother’s absence, Georgiana has been catapulted into the role of head of the family, responsible for her six brothers and sisters in a social housing condo on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania.

“We Come As Friends”
Written and directed by: Hubert Sauper
Produced by: Hubert Sauper and Gabriele Kranzelbinder
A science fiction-like odyssey in a home-made flying machine.

A special seven-member jury convened in Berlin and decided on the following awards recipients:

Lukasz Zal & Ryszard Lenczewski for “Ida”

Justine Wright for “Locke”

Claus-Rudolf Amler for “The Dark Valley” (Das Finstere Tal)

Natascha Curtius-Noss for “The Dark Valley” (Das Finstere Tal)

Mica Levi for “Under the Skin”

Joakim Sundstrom for “Starred Up”

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