Palme d’Or Winner ‘The Square’ Sweeps European Film Awards

Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The Square,” directed by Ruben Ostlund, scooped the best European film, comedy, script, director, and actor prizes at the 30th European Film Awards ceremony, which took place Saturday night in Berlin.

“We wanted to say something important, but we also wanted it to be entertaining and exciting – I think it’s part of a European approach,” said Ostlund upon receiving the prize for best European comedy. The provocative Swedish helmer cited “Toni Erdmann,” last year’s big winner at the European Film Awards, as another film that uses comedy to say something meaningful about humankind and society.

Robin Campillo’s critically acclaimed “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” the winner of Cannes’ Grand Jury Prize, took home best editing out of several nominations.

Alexandra Borbely (“On Body and Soul”) won best actress, beating out French stars Isabelle Huppert (“Happy End”) and Juliette Binoche (“Bright Sunshine In”), as well as Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth”) and Paula Beer (“Frantz”).

Claes Bang won the best actor prize for his turn in “The Square.” The film’s production designer, Josefin Asberg, also won in her category.

The European Discovery Award went to William Oldroyd’s “Lady Macbeth,” while the EFA People’s Choice Award was given to Maria Shrader’s “Stefan Zweig – Farewell to Europe.”

As last year, the European Film Awards ceremony was politically charged. Wim Wenders, who presides over the European Film Academy, addressed the persistent rise of populism across the continent in his speech.

“It is the oldest and worst European disease. How could it possibly creep back in our present times? How could these populist [politicians] with their lies threaten to kill our proudest dreams?,” said Wenders on stage.

“When I look at Europe, I still see a great promise with a touch of utopia. Europe is still a save haven. Europe is not a problem; Europe is a solution. Let’s defend it with all our convictions,” Wenders said.

The #Metoo movement was also discussed during the ceremony by Rebecca O’Brien, the illustrious British producer of Ken Loach’s films, along with other prominent female figures of the European industry.

“We have to listen and learn from the people we work with. The fire started in our industry and if we’re clever there is nothing to stop us too from leading by example and turning the world the right way up again. Come on, ladies!” said O’Brien.

O’Brien also suggested the launch of a “sort of help line” so that people could find a “safe haven” for complaints.

One of the ceremony’s highlights was the lifetime tribute to Julie Delpy, who received the European Achievement in World Cinema for her rich and diverse career in front and behind the camera.

Delpy said her biggest achievement had been “to survive in this business for 30-something years.” She then took everyone by surprise when she declared she was launching a lottery this evening to raise 600,000 euros to gap-finance her next film (which was supposed to shoot in a few months in Berlin) by Dec. 15. and was willing to have breakfast tomorrow with whoever would put money in her film and would even auction roles in order to lure potential investors. Delpy said the initial financiers pulled out of the projects three weeks before pre-production because they were afraid of “emotional” female directors like her.

Delpy’s frequent collaborator and co-star, Ethan Hawke, delivered a moving speech via recorded video, telling the award-winning filmmaker and actress that he had never met anyone like her.

“You have done everything you dreamed of….You’ve never taken a ‘no’ for an answer; your voice as a writer is completely original and authentic. Your work as an actor is always blistering, intense and beautiful,” said Hawke. “It’s been an absolute privilege to work with you three times as actor and writer and it’s thrilling to watch you as a filmmaker.”

THE 2017 EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS WINNERS ARE:

BEST EUROPEAN FILM

“BPM (Beats per Minute),” (Robin Campillo, France)

“Loveless,” (Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia, Belgium, Germany, France)

“On Body and Soul,” (Ildiko Enyedi, Hungary)

“The Other Side of Hope,” (Aki Kaurismaki, Finland, Germany)

“The Square,” (Ruben Ostlund, Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark)

EUROPEAN DIRECTOR

Ildiko Enyedi, (“On Body and Soul”)

Aki Kaurismaki, (“The Other Side of Hope”)

Yorgos Lanthimos, (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”)

Ruben Ostlund, (“The Square”)

Andrey Zvyagintsev, (“Loveless”)

EUROPEAN ACTOR

Claes Bang, (“The Square”)

Colin Farrell, (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”)

Josef Hader, (“Farewell to Europe”)

Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, (“BPM (Beats per Minute)”)

Jean-Louis Trintignant, (“Happy End”)

EUROPEAN ACTRESS

Paula Beer, (“Frantz”)

Juliette Binoche, (“Bright Sunshine In”)

Alexandra Borbely, (“On Body and Soul”)

Isabelle Huppert, (“Happy End”)

Florence Pugh, (“Lady Macbeth”)

EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER

Ildiko Enyedi, (“On Body and Soul”)

Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”)

Ruben Ostlund, (“The Square”)

Oleg Negin and Andrey Zvyagintsev, (“Loveless”)

François Ozon, “Frantz”)

EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY

“Austerlitz,” (Sergei Loznitsa, Germany)

“Communion,” (Anna Zamecka, Poland)

“La Chana,” (Lucija Stojevic, Spain, Iceland, U.S.)

“Stranger in Paradise,” (Guido Hendrikx, Netherlands)

“The Good Postman,” (Tonislav Hristov, Finland, Bulgaria)

EUROPEAN ANIMATED FEATURE

“Ethel & Ernest,” (Roger Mainwood, U.K., Luxembourg)

“Louise by the Shore,” (Jean-François Laguionie, France, Canada)

“Loving Vincent,” (Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Poland, U.K.)

“Zombillenium,” (Arthur de Pins , Alexis Ducord, France, Belgium)

EUROPEAN COMEDY

“King of the Belgians,” (Jessica Woodworth, Peter Brosens, Belgium, The Netherlands, Bulgaria)

“The Square,” (Ruben Ostlund, Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark)

“Vincent and the End of the World,” (Christophe van Rompaey, Belgium, France)

“Welcome to Germany,” (Simon Verhoeven, Germany)

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