The Maltese capital Valletta welcomed the great and the good from the European film industry for the 25th jubilee edition of the European Film Awards.
Organisers believe the festival is the perfect platform to showcase the strength and variety of European filmmaking.
Famed German director Wim Wenders is one of the event’s founders.
“I have been with the EFA from the start, and sometimes I’m like: hang on a minute, it’s almost unbelievable that it still exists. When we started we were naive and the event was rather small but now it has become a pretty big thing.”
Mads Mikkelsen is a Danish actor:
“It is celebrating films made in Europe. We should do that twice a year. There is such a diversity, we should stay that way.”
The night’s big winnner is Austrian director Michael Haneke and his film “Amour.”
The film picked up a cabinet filling Best Director, Best European Film, Best Actor, and Best Actress awards.
The movie explores the relationship between an elderley couple after the woman suffers a stroke:
“I believe in every film you find autobiographical moments. It’s legitimate. One has to find inspiration from somewhere. But I personally hate autobiographical films, which people do because they want to turn their own suffering souls inside out. In this film there are some details from my personal experience, but I would not call the film autobiographical,”
European cinema is on a roll with all six nominated films achieving euro-wide distribution.
The festival’s Best Discovery Award went to Dutch director Boudewijn Koole for his film “Kauwboy,”
his debut feature.
The film follows Jojo a 10-year-old boy from a difficult background who befriends a baby jackdaw a relationship, which brings Jojo closer to his volatile father:
“Here tonight you recognize that there is a European film atmosphere and in a certain way we make films that is different from Asian or American films. And I am proud to be part of it, “ said the director.
The Romanian film “Superman, Spiderman or Batman” by Tudor Giurgiu charmed jurors in the category Best Short Film.
A 5-year old boy and his his father go on a journey in an attempt to save his mother who has a serious heart condition.
The director is optimistic about the future of Romanian cinema.
“We really lack a lot. But at least there is one thing: a great desire to do good cinema and I think there are wonderful authors that are inspired by these real-time stories that happen in today’s Romania.”
On the fringes of the festival new projects are launched and deals done.
Euronews correspondant Sebastian Saam was in Valletta for the event:
“Four prizes for “Amour” by Michael Haneke as well as clear commitment to European filmmaking by actors, directors, and producers alike – especially in times of austerity. This is the message from the jubilee edition of the European Film Award as the industry plots the route for the next 25 years of European filmmaking.”