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Award Watch :: Updates from Berlin, London & DC

by Robert Nesti
EDGE National Arts & Entertainment Editor
Monday Dec 5, 2011
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This past weekend saw a number of film awards given out on both sides of the Atlantic, beginning on Saturday in Berlin where the European Film Awards - voted on by 2,500 members of the European Film Academy - offered its year-end prizes.

The top-winner proved to be a film by a filmmaker banned from Cannes this past May for his impolitic comments about Hitler - "Melancholia" and director Lars Von Trier. His End Times-drama took home the Best Picture Award. It also won cinematography and production design.

Due to the controversy, Von Trier did not attend the ceremony. Instead he sent his wife Bente Froge, to accept the award. She said Mr. von Trier had taken a vow of silence since the Cannes Film Festival.

"I should say from Lars that he has no statement for you," Ms. Froge said. "But he did ask that I should wave to you in a kind and gentle way."

The acting honors went to Colin Firth for "The King’s Speech" (which opened in Europe in 2011) and Tilda Swinton for "We Need to Talk About Kevin." "Pina," Wim Wenders’s 3-D look on the work of Pina Bausch, won Best Documentary. Dane Susanne Bier won Best Director for "In a Better World," last year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. For a full list of winners, the Awards’ website.


In London on Saturday, the British Independent Film Awards were given out with the Best Picture nominees each taking home a trophy in different categories. The winner of Best Independent Film was "Tyrannosaur," actor Paddy Considine’s film that harkens back to the kitchen-sink realism of British films of the 1960s. His female lead Olivia Colman won Best Actress. "I think I’d have been really disappointed if Olivia hadn’t have won the best actress, I hate to admit because I think it’s a phenomenal performance," Considine said. "It was a real privilege for me to see her transform and to see her in those scenes in what I think is one of the greatest performances ever."

The other Best Independent Film nominees each yielded winners: Michael Fassbender won the Best Actor award for "Shame;" Lynne Ramsay won Best Director for "We Need to Talk About Kevin;" "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy" was awarded Best Technical Achievement; and "Senna" won Best Documentary.

The LGBT British film "Weekend" took home two awards: Best Achievement in Production and Most Promising Newcomer to actor Tom Cullen.

Click here for a complete list of winners.

A second film critics organization - Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association - gave their awards out on Sunday. Following in the footsteps of their New York counterparts, the Best Film citation went to "The Artist." They differed in most of the other categories. Best Director: Martin Scorsese for "Hugo;" Best Actor: George Clooney for "The Descendants;" Best Actress: Michelle Williams for "My Week With Marilyn;" Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks for "Drive;" Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer for "The Help;" and Best Acting Ensemble: "Bridesmaids."

"We in D.C. know what it’s like to live and work in a city dominated by a single industry," said WAFCA president, Tim Gordon. "In honoring both ’The Artist’ and ’Hugo,’ WAFCA is spotlighting two films that are love letters to the film industry that we all love so well."

Click here for the complete list of winners and nominees.


Robert Nesti can be reached at rnesti@edgemedianetwork.com.

This article is part of our "Award Watch 2012" series. Want to read more? Here's the full list»

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