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European Cinema Awards 2023: Anatomy of the winners



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Last night in Berlin, the European Film Awards or EFA 2023 ceremony took place, awards for the best European cinema of the season. The French film ‘Anatomy of a Fall’, by Justine Triste, was the undisputed winner, winning six of the 2023 European Film Awards.

The French film ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ in Justine Triet is the Best European Film 2023 and the big winner of the 36th European Film Awards: won the award for Best European Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress for Sandra Hüller; announced a few days ago, it also received the Excellence Award for Best Editing for Laurent Sénéchal and also the University Jury Prize. The ceremony was a little boring and monotonous compared to other years. However, the consecration of this beautiful film, a psychological thriller about investigation and court and a narrative labyrinth with many twists and turns, is deserved and does not come as a surprise, as in addition to being one of the favorites with four nominations in the main categories, it had already won the Palme d’Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.


Also considered two of the best films of the year and with five nominations each – for Best Film, Director, Actress, Actor and Screenplay – ‘The Zone of Interest’in Jonathan Glazer — from the writer’s book Martin Amisrecently deceased — co-produced by UK/Poland/USA, and Fallen leavesin Aki Kaurismäki, a Finnish-German co-production, left the gala without any of the main prizes. However, announced before the gala, ‘The Zone of Interest’ took home one of the Excellence/Best Sound Awards for the duo Johnny Burn It is Tarn Willers. Without much competition, the Best Actor Award went to Mads Mikkelsen for his role in the historical film ‘The Promised Land’, in Nikolaj Arcel, a co-production between Denmark/Germany/Sweden. The Spanish film ‘Robot Dreams’in Pablo Bergerco-produced with France, received the Award for Best Animated Film and is positioned as one of the favorites to join the list of candidates for next year’s Hollywood Oscars.


The film ‘Smoka Sauna Sisterhood’written and directed by Anna Hints, in his directorial debut, an Estonia/France/Iceland co-production, won the Best European Documentary Award. It is a sensitive and beautiful work about a group of women who meet in a smoke sauna, where they clean the dirt from their embarrassed and painful bodies, while sharing their secrets and life experiences. It is undoubtedly an important victory that comes at the best time for this film, as voting is also taking place on the finalist documentaries nominated for the Oscars. The buzz in the room when it was declared the winner showed how much this film was loved by European Film Academy voters.


Little by little, the European Film Awards are becoming an important awards gala dedicated to making European films that go to the Oscars visible, but also to the general cinephile public. A temporal transition is planned that will be completed at the 2026 ceremony, which will take place in January (instead of December) to officially increase its profile and importance in the film awards season. If we take into account the extraordinary quality of the 5 nominees this year, European cinema owes nothing to Hollywood films.


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