British talent dominates European Film Awards

British talent has dominated the European Film Awards in Berlin, with the UK co-production Youth winning Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor.

youth michael caine
Sir Michael Caine won Best Actor and an Honorary Award at the European Film Awards

The film’s Italian director Paolo Sorrentino and its star Sir Michael Caine walked away with trophies, voted for by more than three thousand members of the European Film Academy. Sir Michael was also given an Honorary award.

The Best Screenplay went to the Greek writers of another UK co-production, The Lobster.

Charlotte Rampling won both Best Actress, for 45 Years, and a lifetime achievement award.

Asif Kapadia’s film about Amy Winehouse was named the best European documentary.

A peculiarity of the lower budgets of European films is that many end up being broad co-productions, allowing producers to take advantage of tax breaks in a number of countries and enabling each contributor to do its bit to promote the film in its own territory. Youth was backed by four countries, The Lobster by six. And the success of the two was helped, on the global scale, by being in the English language, despite being written and directed by an Italian and two Greeks, respectively.

This also, of course, has the added benefit of ensuring that a ceremony such as this is able to spread the joy among far more countries than there are prizes, but it doesn’t generally have the effect, as the many other ceremonies of Awards Season have, of boosting a film’s pre-Oscar promotion. With English-language films taking home most of the major awards, this year’s EFA Awards could well more more useful to producers hoping to secure higher-profile awards for their lower-profile films.

The full list of EFA winners:

Best European Film
“Youth” — Winner

Best European Actress
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years” — Winner

Best European Actor
Michael Caine, “Youth” — Winner

Best European Director
Paolo Sorrentino, “Youth” — Winner

People’s Choice Award 2015

Best European Comedy
“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” — Winner

Best European Documentary
“Amy” — Winner

European Achievement in World Cinema (Honorary Award) 
Christoph Waltz

Fipresci Prize – Best European Discovery
“Mustang” — Winner

Best European Animated Feature
“Song of the Sea” — Winner

Honorary Award of the EFA President and Board
Michael Caine

Best European Short
“Picnic” — Winner

Best European Screenwriter
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, “The Lobster” — Winner