This year’s European Film Awards in Reykjavík went off without a hitch for Triangle of Sadness, Ruben Ostlund’s luxury yacht satire on Western entitlement and self-esteem, which won Best Picture as well as three other major awards.
The Swedish director, who quickly became an EFA favorite, also picked best director and best screenwriter to add to his six European awards for his 2017 art world roast The Square. Veteran Croatian actor Zlatko Burić won Best Actor for his role as a Russian fertilizer tycoon who becomes an unlikely revolutionary aboard the ship of fools Ostlund.
Ostlund would surely have appreciated the fact that the 35e The awards, the first physical edition for three years after the Covid pandemic, took place at Reykjavik’s Harpa Concert Hall, an upmarket glass bastion on the Icelandic capital’s harbor with more than a whiff of globalized privilege.
Nonetheless, after recent low-key ceremonies, this year’s European Film Awards have renewed their reputation for direct political engagement; its traditional USP compared to the more superficial Oscars.
As part of the European co-production prize, it showed its support for Ukrainian filmmakers during the current conflict by rewarding not one production, but the entire industry of the country. In accepting the award, producer Darya Bassel referenced Dziga Vertov’s experimental Man with a Movie Camera from 1929, which, although considered a Soviet classic, was filmed partly in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa: Kyiv and Odessa: “His identity was stolen,” she claimed. “Just as the identity of our culture is under threat today.”
The European Film Academy has redoubled its solidarity with Ukraine by awarding the best documentary to Mariupol 2, whose Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravičius was reportedly killed by Russian forces in April. His daughter received a standing ovation as she told guests: “He lost his life in the kind of selflessness that most of us can never hope to achieve, delivering medicine to people.”
With Ukraine’s film infrastructure now largely destroyed, Matthijs Wouter Knol, CEO and Director of the European Film Academy, spoke of the need not only to rebuild for the country’s filmmakers, but also to build capacity to support European filmmakers caught in any situation. of conflict zone.
A new sustainability prize has been awarded to the European Commission’s European Green Deal initiative, which aims to reduce emissions on the continent by 55% by 2030; through the Creative Europe funding arm, it hopes to reach some of those in the film and television industries.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has acknowledged that beyond tackling their carbon footprint, film and television have a leading role to play in mobilizing the masses against the climate crisis . “They can get people to embrace a cause, and that’s what we need right now. You have the power to change hearts and minds,” Von der Leyen told the assembled crowd.
But one of the three prize presenters, a young Icelander named Vilhjálmur, warned that symbolic gestures were insufficient and that cinema had to make its commitment a reality. “It’s not good enough,” he stressed. “Next year we want him to go to a specific production.” All of the youth-voted awards had a radical urgency, with Jerzy Skolimowski’s psychedelic donkey odyssey EO by Jerzy Skolimowski winning the European college film award and Cyril Dion’s anti-speciesist survey Animal the young audience.
Away from the Triangle of Sadness sweep, Vicky Krieps took Best Actress for her role in Constraint 19e-century Empress Elisabeth of Austria in Marie Kreutzer’s Corsage. Meanwhile, the luminary of new German cinema Margarethe von Trotta became the third woman in its 34-year history to win the lifetime achievement award, and Elia Suleiman gave a rambling homily on her career after winning the gong of world cinema. The president of the European Film Academy, Mike Downey, was on hand to state his qualities more precisely: “You ridicule the state and ideologies, but you are so tender with people.
Although Triangle of Sadness is technically a British co-production, British cinema had a battered night. He only got a pair of technical awards – production and costume design – for Kenneth Branagh Belfast’s autobiographical memoir, Paul Mescal missing out on best actor for his performance in the 90s drama Aftersun.
The sociopolitical earnestness was balanced by concentrated doses of Icelandic quirkiness from its presenters, artist Hugleikur Dagsson and actor Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, who pouted at the tense Oscars and encouraged the winners to go as far as possible in their speeches: “If you thank God, you must also thank the devil. As several presenters struggled to open the winning envelopes, Iceland’s glue industry also received an unexpected boost.
Complete list of rewards
Best film triangle of sadness
Best Comedy The good boss
European discovery (Fipresci prize) small body
Best Documentary Mariupolis 2
Best Animated Film No dogs or Italians allowed
Best Short Film Granny’s sex life
Best Director Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness
Best Actress Vicky Krieps, Bodice
Best actor Zlatko Buric, triangle of sadness
Best Screenwriter Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness
Best Cinematography The quiet girl
Best Editing burning days
Best Production Design Belfast
Best Costume Design Belfast
Best Hair and Makeup In the west, nothing is new
Best Original Score HEY
best sound The hole
Best Visual Effects In the west, nothing is new
EFA Lifetime Achievement Award Margarethe von Trotta
European Achievement in World Cinema Elia Suleiman
European Innovative Storytelling Marco Bellocchio
European Co-production Prize (Eurimages Prize) Ukraine
European University Film Award HEY
Young Audience Award Animal
Sustainability Award European Green Deal