European Film Awards Contenders Lineup Includes Cannes, Berlin, Sundance Award Winners

The European Film Academy has fired the starting gun in the race for the European Film Awards. It has recommended 19 films to its members who will then select the nominees from this list.

Among the selected films are Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or winner “Anatomy of a Fall,” and the winner of its Jury Prize, “Fallen Leaves,” along with fellow Palme d’Or contenders “Kidnapped,” “Firebrand,” “La Chimera” and “The Old Oak.”

Other titles include “How to Have Sex,” which won the Un Certain Regard Award in Cannes, “The Animal Kingdom,” which also played in Un Certain Regard, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight titles “Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry” and “The Goldman Case,” and “Close Your Eyes,” which played in the Cannes Premiere section.

Also selected are “Afire,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlinale, “20,000 Species of Bees,” which won the leading performance award at the festival for Sofía Otero, and “Femme” and “The Teachers’ Lounge,” which both had their world premieres in Berlinale’s Panorama section, with the latter winning the Label Europa Cinemas prize.

The remaining films are “Slow,” directing award winner in Sundance’s World Cinema – Dramatic section, “Safe Place,” winner of the best actor and first feature prizes at Locarno, “The Happiest Man in the World,” which played in Venice’s Horizons section, and “Behind the Haystacks,” which won six awards at the Thessaloniki Film Festival.

The selection is the first step in the three-stage awards procedure. In the coming weeks, the 4,600 members of the academy will watch and vote for the selected films to establish the nominees. Next, the nominations in the film, director, actor, actress and screenwriter feature film categories, as well as in the documentary category, will be made public on Nov. 7. Finally, the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Dec. 9 in Berlin.

The selected films will also be considered for the Excellence Awards in the following categories: cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, make-up and hair, original score, sound and visual effects, which will be determined by an eight-member jury consisting of representatives of the different arts and crafts. There will be no nominations in these categories.

To be eligible for the awards, films must have had their first official screening between June 1, 2022, and May 31, 2023, and have a European director, with a few exceptions, for example refugees living in Europe.

“20,000 Species of Bees” (Spain, Argentina)
Directed by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
Written by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren

“Afire” (Germany)
Directed by Christian Petzold
Written by Christian Petzold

“Anatomy of a Fall” (France)
Directed by Justine Triet
Written by Justine Triet, Arthur Harari

“The Animal Kingdom” (France)
Directed by Thomas Cailley
Written by Thomas Cailley, Pauline Munier

“Behind the Haystacks” (Greece, Germany)
Directed by Asimina Proedrou
Written by Asimina Proedrou

“Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry” (Switzerland, Georgia)
Directed by Elene Naveriani
Written by Elene Naveriani, Nikoloz Mdivani, Tamta Mekashvili

“La Chimera” (Italy, France, Switzerland)
Directed by Alice Rohrwacher
Written by Alice Rohrwacher

“Close Your Eyes” (Spain, Argentina)
Directed by Víctor Erice
Written by Víctor Erice, Michel Gaztambide

“Fallen Leaves” (Finland, Germany)
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
Written by Aki Kaurismäki

“Femme” (U.K.)
Directed by Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping
Written by Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping

“Firebrand” (U.K.)
Directed by Karim Aïnouz
Written by Henrietta Ashworth, Jessica Ashworth, Rosanne Flynn

“The Goldman Case” (France)
Directed by Cedric Kahn
Written by Cedric Kahn, Nathalie Hertzberg

“The Happiest Man in the World”
(North Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, Slovenia, Croatia, Denmark)
Directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska
Written by Elma Tataragic, Teona Strugar Mitevska

“How to Have Sex” (U.K., Greece)
Directed by Molly Manning Walker
Written by Molly Manning Walker

“Kidnapped” (Italy, France, Germany)
Directed by Marco Bellocchio
Written by Marco Bellocchio, Susanna Nicchiarelli

“The Old Oak” (U.K., France, Belgium)
Directed by Ken Loach
Written by Paul Laverty

“Safe Place” (Croatia, Slovenia)
Directed by Juraj Lerotic
Written by Juraj Lerotic

“Slow” (Lithuania, Spain)
Directed by Marija Kavtaradze
Written by Marija Kavtaradze

“The Teachers’ Lounge” (Germany)
Directed by Ilker Çatak
Written by Johannes Duncker

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