Irish Abroad: The Lobster among first winners announced for the 28th European Film Awards

The European Film Academy has announced the first winners who will be honoured at this year’s 28th European Film Awards. A special seven-member jury convened in Berlin and, based on the EFA Selection list and the additionally film entries, decided on the winners in the categories cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, composer and sound design.Irish co-production The Lobster picked up the award for European Costume Designer 2015, which went to Sarah Blenkinsop. Other winners include Goodnight Mommy, The Duke of Burgundy, and Arabian Nights – Vol. I-III.

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 film is the English language debut of Greek director Lanthimos, and stars Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz with a supporting cast including Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, John C.Reilly, Olivia Colman and Ashley Jensen. 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 with Isabel Davis as the lead executive for the BFI Film Fund. The film was developed by Element and Irish finance for the film came from the Irish Film Board with Rory Gilmartin as the lead executive for the IFB. It is currently playing in Irish cinemas.

The full list of winners with statements from the jury:

European Cinematographer 2015 – Prix Carlo di Palma: Martin Gschlacht for Goodnight Mommy (Ich Seh Ich Seh) – Austria

Jury statement: “The photography in Goodnight Mommy is extremely consistent and suggestive. Every frame is created in the atmosphere of the film and strengthens its dramaturgy. These pictures are testimony to the huge visual sensitivity of the cinematographer. They are an excellent example of the use of composition and light and offer a new, very modern understanding of the art of cinematography.”

European Editor 2015: Jacek Drosio for Body (Cia?o) – Poland

Jury statement: “The editing of  Body (Cia?o) is an outstanding example of playful precision. Underpinned by shining humour, the montage uses cinematography’s many-faceted imagery to create space for each character, for each character’s dignity, the deceased and the viewer. Jacek Drosio allows us to linger, steps up the beat where needed and shifts perspectives to compose a splendid narration that brings all pain and longing together in a good laugh.”

European Production Designer 2015: Sylvie Olivé for The Brand New Testament (Le Tout nouveau testament) – Belgium/France/Luxembourg

Jury statement: “The design follows and supports the drama in a beautiful, funny and artistic way, mixing the real and the surreal with a lot of ironic fantasy.”

European Costume Designer 2015: Sarah Blenkinsop for The Lobster – UK/Ireland/Greece/France/the Netherlands

Jury statement: “Using colour and shape in a wonderful way to paint each frame of the film, the costume design helps to realise the director’s vision. Every single item the actors wear has its own recognisable story.”

European Composer 2015: Cat’s Eyes for The Duke of Burgundy – UK/Hungary

Jury statement: “For a very brave and daring approach to film scoring, with all the right elements of musical craftsmanship and visual understanding.”

European Sound Designer 2015: Vasco Pimentel & Miguel Martins for Arabian Nights – Vol. I-III (As Mil e uma noites – Vol. I-III) – Portugal/Germany/France/Switzerland

Jury statement: “The Sound Design for Arabian Nights possesses a strong identity, combining documentary and fiction styles. Each sound sequence develops an original point of view closely matching the narration. The result is brilliant poetry, full of life and boldness.”

The members of the jury were:
Anna Asp, production designer, Sweden
Daniela Ciancio, costume designer, Italy
Mathieu Cox, sound designer, Belgium
Uberto Pasolini, director/producer, UK
Adam Sikora, cinematographer, Poland
Kjartan Sveinsson, composer, Iceland
Monika Willi, editor, Austria

The nominations in the categories European Film, Comedy, Director, Screenwriter, Actress and Actor will be announced on 7 November at the Seville European Film Festival. The members of the European Film Academy, which is made up of more than 3,000 European film professionals, will then vote for the winners and all awards recipients will receive their EFA Statuette during the 28th European Film Awards Ceremony. The ceremony takes place at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Berlin on Saturday, December 12th.