Another Round wins big at 2020 European Film Awards

Europe's biggest night of the awards season unfolded virtually out of Berlin

Vinterberg's Another Round won four awards in all, taking the laurels for best film, best director, best screenplay, and best European actor.

Thomas Vinterberg's Another Round was the big winner at the 33rd European Film Awards, taking best film, best director, and best actor for star Mads Mikkelsen who plays a boozy high school teacher in the Danish crowd-pleasing dramedy. 

Vinterberg also won best screenplay for the feature, an honor he shared with co-writer Tobias Lindholm. 

"This film was made in the most difficult time of my life," said Vinterberg, referring to the tragic death of his daughter Ida in a car accident shortly after shooting on Another Round began. "It could only have been made with my friends and my family beside me."

Mikkelsen, accepting his prize for best actor, dedicated it to Ida's memory. "She shines in every frame of this film," he said.

Another Round, which has been a box office hit at home, where it was released in-between the first and second COVID-19 lockdown, is a beautiful tragicomedy that describes four men who drink alcohol every day in order to explore its effects on their personal and professional lives. It is Denmark's entry for the 2021 Oscars in the best international feature category and is considered a front-runner.

Meanwhile, the best actress honour when to Paula Beer for the titular role in Christian Petzold's love story Undine, a variation on the myth of water nymph Undine, who must kill every lover who leaves her. 

Best European documentary went to Alexander Nanau for Collective, a furious look at hospital corruption in Romania, which is also an inside look at investigative journalism.

The European Discovery - Prix Fipresci for a work by a first-time director, went to Italian filmmaker Carlo Sironi for his debut Sole, a hard-hitting drama about a pregnant woman from Eastern Europe who comes to Italy to sell her unborn child.

Irish director and film historian Marc Cousins won the inaugural EFA Award for Innovative Storytelling for his groundbreaking, 14-hour documentary Women Make Films.

As for the Eurimages Co-Production Award, it went to Portuguese producer Luís Urbano of Lisbon's  O Som e a Fúria shingle for his contribution as a co-producer on such features as Ira Sachs' Frankie, Joao Nicolau's Technoboss, and Goncalo Waddington's Patrick. 

Hidden Away, Giorgio Diritti's portrait of self-taught Italian painter Antonio Ligabue, won in the meantime European Film honors for best cinematography (for cameraman Matteo Cocco) and for Ursula Patzak for best costume design. Dascha Dauenhauer won best original score for her soundtrack to Burhan Qurbani's Berlin Alexanderplatz, a modern-day adaptation of Alfred Döblin's 1929 literary classic.

The Platform, a dystopian drama, that Netflix picked up worldwide, won the European Film Prize for best visual effects for Inaki Madariaga. 

Other winners included Cristina Casali, who took best production design for his work on Armando Iannucci's The Personal History of David Copperfield, best editor winner Maria Fantastica Valmori for Il Varco - Once More Unto The Breach, a war documentary from Italian directors Federico Ferrone, and Michele Manzolini, period drama The Endless Trench, about a man who hides from Spanish fascist authorities for 30 years, which won the best hair and makeup honor for Yolanda Pina, Felix Terrero, and Yolande Decarsin and Kristian Selin Eidnes Andersens, who won best sound design for Sébastien Lifshitz's documentary Little Girl, a look an eight-year-old French child who questions their gender. 

The European Film Award is one of the most prestigious prizes in the industry, and is presented after the Film Academy's 3,800 members vote, in a process resembling the Oscars in the United States. This year, however, the 33rd EFA were handed out via a virtual ceremony from Berlin Saturday, 12 December, as part of a week-long series of virtual events leading up to Saturday's virtual gala. 

Hence, this year's nominees, dozens of them, were connected via video link. A highlight was an unexpected video from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who sent a message thanking outgoing European Film Academy President Wim Wenders and EFA Director Marion Döring.

Polish director Agnieszka Holland and the former Director of the Berlinale’s European Film Market Matthijs Wouter Knol will take over from Wenders and Döring next year. 

The ceremony was a relaxed affair, with the only major technical mishap happened during the Mark Cousins' acceptance speech for Women Make Films, where a time delay led to an amusing back-and-forth between Cousins and the awards presenter, German director Emily Atef. 

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