The Favourite is European Film Awards big winner

Yorgos Lanthimos named Best European Director

by Jennie Kermode

Antonio Banderas won the Best European Actor award for Pain And Glory
Antonio Banderas won the Best European Actor award for Pain And Glory

We've been bringing you live updates from this year's European Film Awards ceremony in Berlin, where The Favourite was the big winner, with seven awards in total.

The first award - Best European Director - went to Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite. It's one of those films that came out in the middle of awards season last year so didn't qualify for last year's EFAs even though it won Academy Awards this year. See what Yorgos Lanthimos, Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn and Tony McNamara had to tell us about it.

The Christmas Gift was named as Best European Short Film. Director Bogdan Mureșanu was so happy to receive the award that he forgot what he had planned to say.

The winner of Best European Animated Feature Film is Buñuel In The Labyrinth Of The Turtles, which tells the story of the making of Las Hurdes in 1932. Director Salvador Simó had tears in his eyes as he spoke of how his daughter had inspired his work on the project by reminding him of the power of stories. "For us this was a beautiful story to tell, and this film was a wonderful gift to all of us," he said.

A surprise visitor at the event was Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who, four years ago, was facing a sentence of 20 years for the alleged plotting of terrorist acts in Crimea. At the time, filmmakers around the world condemned what they said was a politically motivated arrest fuelled by objections to his criticism of Russia. Released in September this year, he was present tonight for the announcement of a new initiative aimed at helping persecuted filmmakers, the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk.

The award for Best European Screenwriter went to Céline Sciamma for Portrait Of A Lady On Fire.

Antonio Banderas was named Best European Actor for Pain And Glory. He spoke about how much he owes to Pedro Almodóvar, whom he met 40 years ago, and said that the award had made him very emotional. Antonio and Pedro shared their thoughts on the film with us in Cannes earlier this year, along with co-star Penélope Cruz.

The Best European Actress award went to Olivia Colman for The Favourite. Although she couldn't be present and accepted the award through a pre-recorded message, she made sure to tell everyone present that they looked gorgeous.

This year's Prix FIPRESCI, or European Discovery Award, went to Les Misérables, and the People's Choice Award to Cold War. "People's Choice doesn't sound very good anymore. People have made some very bad choices," said Pawel Pawlikowski, accepting the latter, but thanked voters nonetheless.

There were special awards for Juliette Binoche, who received an extensive tribute from Clare Denis, and Werner Herzog, for whom a specially written aria was performed prior to a spoken tribute from Wim Wenders. "I always wanted to be a good soldier of cinema and I still try to be," said Herzog. Speaking on European film, he praised its diversity, saying that he doesn't really see himself as a German filmmaker but is proud to be a Bavarian filmmaker. "One thing that I always keep thinking about when I think about Europe, it is about peace," he said, saying that something more practical than putting flowers in the end of rifles is necessary to achieve and maintain peace. This is why I have the feeling the European Union has a very specific value... it is the biggest peace project world history has ever seen."

The Favourite was named Best European Comedy, while Best European Documentary went to For Sama - see what directors Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts told us about it.

Finally, the award for Best European Film, presented by Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald director David Yates, went to The Favourite.

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