There was more good news for Irish films this weekend at the European Film Awards in Berlin. Irish co-production The Lobster, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, won two awards, Best European Screenwriter and Best Costume Design, and fellow Irish co-production Song of the Sea won Best European Animated Feature.
In his acceptance speech Song of the Sea director Tomm Moore praised the European spirit of co-production saying that the film “could only have been made in Europe.”
The Lobster is a love story set in the near future where single people, according to the rules of The City, are arrested and transferred to The Hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods. A desperate Man escapes from The Hotel to The Woods where The Loners live and falls in love, although it is against their rules.
The Lobster is written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou and produced by Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Ceci Dempsey and Yorgos Lanthimos. Executive Producers are Andrew Lowe, Tessa Ross and Sam Lavender. The Lobster is an Element Pictures, Scarlet Films, Faliro House, Haut et Court, Lemming Film co-production in association with Limp and financiers include the film from the Irish Film Board.
The IFTA award-winning, and Oscar nominated Song of the Sea follows Ben and his little sister Saoirse, the last selkie, who can transform from seals to people, and her journey to the sea, to find her voice and sing the “Song of the Sea” to save all of fairy kind from being lost forever.
An all-star voice cast features in the film, including Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, David Rawle, Lisa Hannigan, Pat Shortt, and Jon Kenny. The score comes from The Secret of Kells collaborators Bruno Coulais and the Irish band Kila.
English actress Charlotte Rampling received a standing ovation for her lifetime achievement award, for a body of work that includes 4 collaborations with French director Francois Ozun. Ozun presented the award saying that Rampling was “the most important actress in my life.” She went on to pick up the award for Best European Actress for her latest role in 45 Years.
Best European film went to Youth, with Best European Director going to Paolo Sorrentino for his work on the film. Michael Caine won Best European Actor for Youth and also received the Honorary Award of the EFA President and Board. Accepting he said “In 50 years, I’ve never won an award in Europe, tonight I’ve won two!”
Other winners on the night included French Oscar entry Mustang, which received the Fipresci Prize for Best European Discovery; Sweden’s Oscar entry A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence won Best European Comedy; Austria’s Oscar entry Goodnight Mommy for Best European Cinematographer; acclaimed Amy Winehouse documentary Amy winning Best Documentary; with Spanish film Marshland winning the People’s Choice Award.
The 28th European Film Awards saw more than 3,000 EFA members vote on the winners.
Best European Film
“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflection on Existence”
Best European Director – Paolo Sorrentino – Youth
Best European Actor – Michael Caine – Youth
Best European Actress – Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
EFA Lifetime Achievement Award – Charlotte Rampling
European Co-production Award – Prix – Andrea Occhipinti
People’s Choice Award 2015 – Marshland
Best European Comedy – A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Best European Documentary – Amy
European Achievement in World Cinema (Honorary Award) – Christoph Waltz
Fipresci Prize – Best European Discovery – Mustang
Best European Animated Feature – Song of the Sea
Honorary Award of the EFA President and Board – Michael Caine
Best European Short – Picnic
Best European Screenwriter – Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou – The Lobster
TECHNICAL WINNERS (previously announced)
Best European Cinematographer – Martin Gschlacht – Goodnight Mommy
Best European Editor – Jacek Drosio Body
Best European Composer – Cat’s Eyes – The Duke of Burgundy
Best European Production Designer – Sylvie Olive – The Brand New Testament
Best European Costume Designer – Sarah Blenkinsop – The Lobster
Best European Sound Designer – Vasco Pimentel and Miguel Martins – Arabian Nights