The European Film Awards 2016 were even closer to us this year as not only do we share with the European Film Academy the support and diffusion we give to European cinema, but also at the last edition of SEFF we learned the names of the nominees at a gala held as part of the festival, and later we learned that Seville will be the host city for the 2018 edition of the European Film Awards ceremony. Antonio Muñoz, Delegate for Urban Habitat, Culture and Tourism at Seville City Council announced the news along with Mike Downey, Vice President of EFA and José Luis Cienfuegos, Director of SEFF, at the press conference for the awards presented at our 13th edition.
Going back to the 29th edition of the EFA Awards, held in the Polish city of Wroclaw last Saturday, 10th December, the Awards List included several of the films seen at SEFF 2016. The top winner, with five awards, was ‘Toni Erdmann’, by Maren Ade, which won Best Film, Best Director, Best Script, Best Actress (Sandra Hüller) and Best Actor (Peter Simonischek). The director Maren Ade admitted her amazement at the success of her film at the start of the gala: “I still don’t really understand it. My film lasts three hours, it isn’t exactly a comedy and I admit the nudity scene is very uncomfortable”. Despite its director’s amazement, ‘Toni Erdmann’ has convinced the members of the European Film Academy, the Fipresci Jury in Cannes, the SEFF audience (who awarded it the Grand Audience Prize) and the Eurimages Jury, which also gave it an award at the 13th edition of SEFF. ‘Toni Erdmann’ is a story that defends the freedom to be oneself and the courage to break with appearances and social protocol. And all that with a narrative as daring and unconventional as its characters, in which humour and poetry go hand in hand.
Other titles that were seen at SEFF in the EFA section and received awards are the Finnish film ‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki', by Juho Kuosmanen, which won the Fipresci Award; 'Land of Mine', Best Photography Award (Camilla Hjelm Knudsen), Best Costume Design (Stefanie Bieker) and Best Make Up and Hair Styling (Barbara Kreuzer) and 'The Student' (Best European Composer to Ilya Demutsky).
The remaining awards went to 'A Man Called Ove', by Hannes Holm (Best European Comedy), 'Fire at Sea', by Gianfranco Rosi (Best Documentary), 'My Life as a Zucchini', by Claude Barras (Best Animation), 'Suffragette' (Best Production Design for Alice Normington), 'The Commune' (Best Editor for Ane Osterud and Janus Billeskov Jansen), '11 minutes' (Best Sound Design for Radoslaw Ochnio), Leontine Petit (Eurimages Eurepean Coproduction Award), '9 Days: From my window in Alepo' (Best Short Film), 'Body', by Malgorzata Szumowska (Audience Award), Special Honorary Award for Andrzej Wajda, Lifetime Achievement Award for Jean-Claude Carrière and European Achievement in World Cinema for Pierce Brosnan.