EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS 2021 Flee, Quo Vadis, Aida? , Great Freedom triumph at the 34th European Film Awards
Jasmila Zbanic's film wins three statuettes including European Film, while Flee and The Father receive two each.
The 34th European Film Awards ceremony is over, and you can find the list of winners below. The ceremony also hosted the announcement of the three finalists for the 2022 LUX Audience Award.
The three finalists that were competing for the 2022 LUX Audience Award had been unveiled during the European Film Awards ceremony on 11 December as a live ceremony broadcasted and streamed from Berlin, after being adapted due to the latest developments of the pandemic.
The Ceremony was presented by German actress, moderator and writer Annabelle Mandeng, and co-hosted by Mike Downey, Chairman of the European Film Academy and the LUX Award selection panel, who unveiled the three nominated titles: Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden), Great Freedom by Sebastian Meise (Austria, Germany) and Quo Vadis, Aida? by Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Romania, France, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Norway, Turkey).
Once again, the three films competing in this second edition of the pan-European audience award, presented jointly by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy in partnership with the European Commission and the Europa Cinemas network, show the commitment of the project in promoting films that deal with urgent topics which go to the heart of the European public debate, while showcasing the diversity and complexity of European cinema.
Flee by Danish director Jonas Poher Rasmussendelivers a powerful story about migration and self-discovery. Through a series of intimate interviews and the effective use of animation, the director recounts the story of one of his closest friends, who fled Afghanistan as a child and struggled to build a life for himself in Europe. Originally selected for Cannes 2020, the film had its world premiere in the World Cinema Documentary Competition of the Sundance Film Festival, walking out with the Grand Jury Prize.
Fleehas also been selected as the Danish submission for the Academy Awards, and it has recently received the EFA’S European University Film Award, for which all 3 LUX titles were nominated.
Austrian helmer Sebastian Meise’s sophomore feature, Great Freedom, tells the life story of a man (played brilliantly by German actor Franz Rogowski) who spends most of his adult life in prison for being homosexual.Meise’s impressive drama, which premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section earlier this year —where it was awarded the Jury prize—, examines post-war Germany in three different periods, with a particular interest in the criminalisation of queer life under the infamous Paragraph 175. Among other recognitions, such as the main award in Sarajevo.
Great Freedomhas also been selected as the Austrian entry for the Oscars in 2022.
Likewise, Jasmila Zbanic’s take on the Srebrenica massacre has garnered much praise since its world premiere at the 77th Venice Film Festival, where it competed for the Golden Lion.
Quo Vadis, Aida?homes in on the titular character, a translator for the UN trying to save her family when the Serbian army takes over the small town of Srebrenica in 1995. The Bosnian director (whose feature debut Grbavica won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2006), also signed the screenplay of this breathtaking story that led the nominations for the European Film Awards and was celebrated at several festivals.
These three fascinating films, selected by a committee of 13 members and two observers drawn from the European film industry (including filmmakers, festival programmers and former members of the 27 Times Cinema project), will travel the continent over the following months, taking part in various events and screenings. The films will be subtitled into the 24 languages of the EU, aiming to reach a broader audience across the member states and to generate discussions on the timely themes they address.
Even though there are only three films running for the award on this occasion, the LUX Audience Award is still expecting to increase the number of finalists up to 5 titles in future editions.
European Film Quo Vadis, Aida? – Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Austria/Romania/France/ Netherlands/Germany/Poland/Norway/Turkey)
European Comedy Ninjababy – Yngvild Sve Flikke (Norway)