Film by Austrian director dominates European film honors | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 13.12.2009
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Culture

Film by Austrian director dominates European film honors

The chilling drama "The White Ribbon" by Austrian director, Michael Haneke, picked up three prizes, including best film, at this year's European Film Awards in Germany.

Scene from the film

'White Ribbon' is a somber drama set on the eve of World War One

In austere and sinister black-and-white, the film explores a series of crimes in a northern German village on the eve of World War I, apparently linked to a group of children brutalized and scarred by their parents.

The European Film Academy awarded Haneke the prizes for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenwriter at the 22nd awards ceremony in the German industrial city of Bochum. The film also won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes festival.

British actress Kate Winslet scooped up Best Actress honors for her portrayal of a German woman with a secret Nazi past in the romantic drama, "The Reader."

Kate Winslet with David Kross in 'The Reader'

Winslet also won a German Bambi and British BAFTA for her role

Best Actor was Tahar Rahim for his role in the French film, "A Prophet,"by director Jacques Audiard. It's about a homeless and illiterate 19-year-old at the mercy of a Corsican gang, which controls the jail he is in.

This year's "People's Choice" award, picked by cinema-goers across Europe in online voting, went to "Slumdog Millionaire," the Oscar-winning love story set in the teeming slums of Bombay.

Britain's Ken Loach received this year's lifetime achievement award, while French actress Isabelle Huppert took the Special Honors Prize.

The European Film Awards, usually held in Berlin, took place in Bochum this year because the Ruhr region is the 2010 European Capital of Culture.

gb/dpa/epd/AFP/Reuters

Editor: Sonia Phalnikar

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