December 09, 2017
The Square Wins 2017 European Film Awards

Ruben Ostlund's Swedish satire swept the night, winning honors for best film, best director, best screenplay and best actor.
Ruben Ostlund's The Square, a satire of the art world starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West, is big winner of this year's European Film Awards (EFA), taking home honors for best film, best director, best comedy, best screenplay and best actor for Bang.
The Swedish director thanked the European Film Academy for awarding a film that, while dealing with serious issues, still strives to be entertaining.
"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," Ostlund said, citing Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann, last year's big winner at the European Film Awards, as the kind of "fun approach" he was going for.
Picking up his first award of the night, for best screenplay, Ostland, thanked his actors, particularly Bang, who Ostlund said contributed many improvised lines to his script.
The Square premiered in Cannes this year, where it won the Palme d'Or for best film. Ostlund's dramedy is also a front-runner for the foreign language Oscars, where it is representing Sweden.
On Body and Soul, an off-beat love story set in an abattoir from Hungarian filmmaker Ildiko Enyedi was considered a front-runner at this year's EFAs but, in the end, it only picked up one of the top honors, with Alexandra Borbely scooping the European Actress prize for her portrait of a socially awkward woman who, somehow, manages to find love. On Body and Soul premiered at the Berlin Film Festival where it at won the Golden Bear for best film. It is Hungary's entry for the foreign language Oscar race.
Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Russia drama Loveless and Yorgos Lanthimos' surreal thriller The Killing of a Sacred Deer Robin Campillo’s AIDS drama BPM (Beats Per Minute), which drew on the director's own experiences as part of at militant activist group ACT UP in Paris in the early 1990s, Aki Kaurismaki's refugee melodrama The Other Side of Hope.
The EFA winners, and nominees, will be hoping the prizes give a boost to their Oscar campaigns. On Body and Soul, The Square, BPM and Loveless are all in contention for the 2018 Academy Award in the best foreign language category. The Coproduction Office is handling worldwide sales of The Square, BPM is with Playtime, Killing of a Sacred Deer at HanWay, On Body and Soul with Films Boutique and Other Side of Hope with The Match Factory.
All have already sold to the U.S., with Magnolia Pictures taking The Square, Sony Pictures Classics nabbing Loveless, The Orchard handling U.S. release of BPM, Janus Films releasing The Other Side of Hope stateside and A24, which also co-produced The Killing of a Sacred Deer, taking over domestic distribution duties. Netflix picked up North American rights to On Body and Soul and will release the film there on Feb. 21, 2018.
Communion, from Polish director Anna Zamecka, nabbed the EFA for best non-fiction feature. The prize for best European Animation Feature Film went to Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman for Loving Vincent, a painstakingly hand-painted biopic on the life and work of late painter Vincent van Gogh.
"Vincent Van Gogh was European, and because he was allowed to move freely, he became the artist that he was. We should keep borders open," said Welchman in his acceptance speech.



Politics, always a major feature at the EFAs, were never far away at this year's ceremony. The European Film Academy used the occasion to again call for the release of Ukraine filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is being held in a Russian prison on what many believe are trumped-up terrorism charges. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who lives in Berlin, has added his voice to the petition.
European Film Academy President, German director Wim Wenders, made a passionate speech calling for Europe to turn away from the politics of nationalism, which has been on the rise across the continent.
"How is it possible that nationalism is getting back in our lives; why is it killing our proudest dreams?" Wenders asked the audience. "Maybe we didn't care enough, maybe we allowed it and watched for too long." He ended his speech with a rallying call for European filmmakers to defend the principles of a diverse, liberal and free Europe.
"Europe is not the problem, Europe is the solution," Wenders said. "Let's defend it, let's respond. Long live our European diversity, long live our rich cinema!"
Russian drama Loveless from director Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan) picked up two EFA technical awards, which were announced earlier. Michail Krichman won the best European cinematographer honor and Evgueni and Sacha Galperine took the honor for European composer of the year. The drama follows a tense search for a missing child that reveals the pathologies at the heart of Russian society.
Josefin Asberg won best European production design for her won on The Square, Campillo took best editing honors for BPM. Other technical awards included best European costume designer for Katarzyna Lewinska for Spoor from directors Agnieszka Holland and Katarzyna Adamik; European hair and makeup artist 2017 to Leendert van Nimwegen, for Martin Koolhoven's neo-western Brimstone; and European sound designer of the year to Oriol Tarrago, for work on J.A. Bayona's A Monster Calls.
Julie Delpy received the European Achievement in World Cinema honor, the EFA's lifetime achievement award. Ethan Hawke, who co-wrote, and co-starred with Delpy in Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise trilogy, send a video message to congratulate the French multi-hyphenate.
"When I first met you, when you were 22 or 23, you were the most striking young person I ever met," Hawke said, "and you have become the more completely actualized version of yourself. You have achieved everything you have dreamed of...It's been an absolute pleasure to work with you as an actor and a screenplay and to see you watch your development as a filmmaker."
Delpy turned her speech into a fund-raising drive. The actress/director, who this week revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that a key financier of her new film, My Zoe suddenly pulled out shortly before it was set to go to prep, told the EFA audience she still needed $600,000 "before December 15" if the project was to begin shooting as planned early next year.
Pulling up a bundle of tickets, Delpy said she would be raffling off a chance to have breakfast with her here in Berlin tomorrow. And, in addition, she would be sell off walk on roles in My Zoe for anyone interested.
"People think I'm joking, but I'm not," Delpy said. "I will do anything to make my film!"
The European Discovery prize, given to a first time filmmaker, went to British director William Oldroyd for Lady Macbeth, while legendary Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov (Faust, Russian Ark), received the EFA Lifetime Achievement Award, for his outstanding work in the field of directing, dramaturgy and cinematography.
The 30th European Film Awards were held on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Berlin. The winners were picked by the more than 3,000 members of the European Film Academy, made up of film professionals from across Europe.

Full list of winners:
EUROPEAN FILM
The Square, dir. Ruben Ostlund
EUROPEAN COMEDY
The Square, dir. Ruben Ostlund
EUROPEAN DIRECTOR
Ruben Ostlund for The Square
EUROPEAN ACTRESS
Alexandra Borbely for On Body and Soul
EUROPEAN ACTOR
Claes Bang for The Square
EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER
Ruben Ostlund for The Square
EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY
Communion, Anna Zamecka
EUROPEAN DISCOVERY – Prix FIPRESCI
Lady Macbeth, William Oldroyd
EUROPEAN ANIMATION FEATURE FILM
Loving Vincent, Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman
EUROPEAN EDITOR
Robin Campillo for BPM (Beats Per Minute)
EUROPEAN PRODUCTION DESIGN
Josefin Asberg for The Square
EUROPEAN COMPOSER
Sacha Galperine for Loveless
EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER
Michail Krichman for Loveless
EUROPEAN COSTUME DESIGNER
Katarzyna Lewinska for Spoor
EUROPEAN HAIR AND MAKEUP
Leendert van Nimwegen for Brimstone
EUROPEAN SOUND DESIGN
Oriol Tarrago for A Monster Calls
EUROPEAN SHORT FILM
Timecode, Juanjo Gimenez
EUROPEAN ACHIEVEMENT IN WORLD CINEMA
Julie Delpy
EFA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Aleksandr Sokurov
EUROPEAN CO-PRODUCTION AWARD —Prix Euroimages
Cedomir Kolar
EFA PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
Stefan Zweig —Farewell to Europe, Maria Schrader
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