BERLIN – “The Square” by Swedish moviemaker Ruben Ostlund was the big winner on Saturday at the 30th European Film Awards in Berlin, taking a total of six statuettes, while Spain took home two.
“The Square” came out tops in the contest for Best Film, Best Comedy, Best Director and Best Screenwriter, all won by Ostlund, and for Best Actor, which went to Denmark’s Claes Bang, and for Best Production Designer, picked up by Josefin Asberg.
The Swedish filmmaker, excited about the awards, celebrated the gala as a “great show,” not only because “The Square” swept so many prizes, but also for having felt a “community spirit.”
“I’m a little ashamed, I don’t know if I deserve so much,” he said upon receiving the award for Best Film.
He expressed gratitude that these prizes are “a platform for talking about important things” like Europe and the fact of “being humans.”
The Best Actress award went to the Slovak Alexandra Borbely, who couldn’t hold back the tears as she accepted the statuette, and thanked Hungarian filmmaker Ildiko Enyedi for choosing her for the role in “On Body and Soul.”
The prize for Best Documentary, touted to be won by the Hispanic-Icelandic-US coproduction “La Chana” by producer Lucija Stojevic, went instead to the Polish film “Communion” by Anna Zamecka.
Spain took home two statuettes, one for Best Short Film for “Timecode” by Juanjo Gimenez, while the other was picked up by Oriol Tarrago for Best Sound Designer in “A Monster Calls,” which was also nominated for the EFA People’s Choice Award.
Gimenez particularly wished to dedicate the prize to his daughter, who he said was watching the gala from Barcelona, and noted that “we are all European, because we feel, for the moment, that such sentiments are not forbidden.”
Meanwhile, separate honorary prizes were awarded to the French-American actress Julie Delpy for her contribution to world filmmaking; to Russian moviemaker Alexandr Sokurov honoring his lifelong career; while Croatian producer Cedomir Kolar was awarded the EURIMAGES prize for coproduction.
The gala also made time to discuss the #metoo campaign, in which women from different countries, professions and status have come out against sexual harassment, a movement sparked by the scandal surrounding US film producer Harvey Weinstein which has spread to many others in the industry.