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German comedy sweeps European Film Awards

The German-Austrian comedy drama "Toni Erdmann" has swept this year's European Film Awards. It picked up five gongs at a ceremony in the Polish city of Wroclaw.

Written and directed by Maren Ade, "Toni Erdmann" took home best European film at the European Film Academy's annual awardson Saturday. The film, about a father-daughter relationship, was nominated for several other top international awards this year.

Ade got the nod as best European director and screenwriter, while Sandra Hueller was named best European actress for the female lead, and Peter Simonischek of Austria won best European actor for the role of Toni Erdmann.

The film beat off competition for the best film title from the Franco-German production "Elle," Spain's "Julieta," Ireland's "Room" and this year's Palm d'Or winner "I Daniel Blake" by renowned British director Ken Loach.

Maren Ade (picture alliance/dpa/M. Kulczynski)

"I hope this isn't getting boring," Ade joked, as her film cleaned up at the European Film Awards

The 29th European Film Awards took place in the Western Polish city of Wroclaw.

Other winners included "A Man Called Ove," a Swedish/Norwegian production which picked up Best European Comedy, "The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki," which won the European Discovery (Prix Fipresci) award, and the Franco-Swiss production "My Life as a Zucchini," which was awarded best European Animated Feature Film.

Saturday night's awards show was peppered with political commentary by presenters, with a focus on the plight of refugees and Russia.

Maria Alyokhina from the jailed punk rock group Pussy Riot appealed for the release of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian director serving a 20-year prison term in Russia on terrorism charges seen as politically motivated.

mm/jr (AP, dpa)

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