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Cannes winners in line for European Film Prize

November 8, 2022

The Palme d'Or-winning "Triangle of Sadness" is among the works vying for the 35th European Film Awards. Here are the European Film Academy's nominations.

A woman and man in swimwear sit on sun lounges, she smiling, he looking serious
Class comedy "Triangle of Sadness" won the Palme d'Or and is set for more honorsImage: Alamode Filmverleih

Heading the pack for best film at the European Film Awards is Swedish comedy "Triangle of Sadness," which is riding high on the back of its Palme d'Or win at Cannes.

With the satire on the superrich that exposes a tenuous class hierarchy, filmmaker Ruben Ostlund also picked up nominations for best director and best screenwriter, while lead Zlatko Buric is up for best actor.

The nominations for the film awards, the European equivalent of the Oscars, were announced on Tuesday (11.08.2022). The ceremony will take place on December 10 in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavík.

Among the five films competing for the top gong, two other works also premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May. 

"Close," a contemporary drama by Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont, explores a "crisis of connection" between two adolescent boys and won the Grand Prix in Cannes.

Meanwhile, the thriller "Holy Spider," by Danish director Ali Abbasi, sees a young female journalist investigate the serial killings of sex workers in Iran's holy city of Mashhad. Based on true events, the Danish, German, Swedish and French co-production won the Prix Un Certain Regard in Cannes, and was chosen as Sweden's Academy Award entry while enjoying a wide international release. 

a woman waring a veil stares ahead
'Holy Spider,' a film about the serial killings of sex workers in Iran, is in the running for best film Image: Alamode Film

Ukraine frontline features up for documentary prize

The Ukraine war understandably features in the shortlist for best documentary, with "A House Made of Splinters" by Danish director Simon Lereng Wilmont, looking at the toll of the conflict on poor families — and especially young orphaned children — living near the frontline in Eastern Ukraine.

The film "Mariupolis 2" explores the brutal Russian occupation of the Black Sea-coast city of Mariupol. The documentary is all-the-more poignant since filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius died while shooting material for the film.

Having filmed "Mariupolis" during the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine in 2015, Kvedaravicius was captured and killed by Russian Forces in late March this year in Mariupol while documenting Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Also vying for top documentary is "March On Rome," a look at the rise of Benito Mussolini's fascist regime in the early 1920s and the implications for 1930s Europe as the far-right tide spread across the continent. The film, which contains extensive archival footage, will have a strong contemporary relevance as neo-fascism rises again in Italy with the election of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, whose Fratelli d'Italia party descends from post-war fascists.

Global filmmaking greats acknowledged

Legendary German director Margarethe von Trotta — a leader of the New German Cinema known for her depictions of great women figures of history like Hannah Arendt and Rosa Luxemburg — is to be honored with the European Lifetime Achievement award at the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman will be awarded the European Achievement in World Cinema award. Among his numerous films unveiling the reality of life in the occupied Palestinian territories, his 2002 work, "Divine Intervention," won the Jury Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.

This year, the Award for European Innovative Storytelling will go to Italian director Marco Bellocchio for his miniseries, "Exterior Night," by which he returns to the subject of the 1970s far-left militants the Red Brigades and their wave of kidnappings and executions of political figures, including Christian Democrat party president Aldo Moro.

The 2021 European Film Awards were presented in Berlin, but without an audience due to the ongoing pandemic, with Bosnian film "Quo Vadis, Aida?" (Where are you going, Aida?), set amidst the Srebrenica massacre, winning best film. 

Edited by: Elizabeth Grenier

Stuart Braun | DW Reporter
Stuart Braun Berlin-based journalist with a focus on climate and culture.