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EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS 2021

The European Film Awards unveil their first winners

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- Great Freedom, Unclenching the Fists, Natural Light, Titane, The Innocents, Lamb and Ammonite receive the technical Excellence Awards

The European Film Awards unveil their first winners
Great Freedom by Sebastian Meise

The European Film Academy has announced eight winners who will be honoured at this year’s European Film Awards. A special, eight-member jury convened in Berlin and, based on the Feature Film Selection, decided on the winners in the categories of cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, make-up & hair, original score, sound and visual effects. The members of the jury were Danish cinematographer Camilla Hjelm, British VFX supervisor Matt Kasmir, Serbian editor Jelena Maksimovic, Italian costume designer Ursula Patzak, French sound designer Célia Sayaphoum, German production designer Francis "Kiko" Soeder, Turkish composer Başar Ünder and Dutch make-up artist Leendert van Nimwegen.

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The list of awarded films is led by Sebastian Meise's Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
, one of the sensations of the year after its world premiere in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section, and already the main winner of other film festivals, such as Sarajevo and Seville. Cinematographer Crystel Fournier and composers Nils Petter Molvær and Peter Brötzmann have bagged the awards in their respective fields. The award statement for the former highlights how "the cinematography in Great Freedom pulls the spectator into the closeness of the prison cell, yet suggests the openness and freedom of the mind", while that for the latter points out that "the sparse and bold scoring of Great Freedom takes you to decades, to places and to the edges of a rare cinematic experience interfacing with its music. It is an elegant yet instigating celebration of free improvisation and insurgency; jazz, resilience and solidarity."

Curiously, films premiered in this year's Un Certain Regard section make up the bulk of the winners' list. The section's main prizewinner, Kira Kovalenko's Unclenching the Fists [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, received the European Editing Award for Mukharam Kabulova's work ("The editing works as a true contribution to the truthfulness of the film"), while the section's genre hits The Innocents [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Eskil Vogt
film profile
]
, directed by Eskil Vogt, and Lamb [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valdimar Jóhannsson
film profile
]
, directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson (and winner of the Prize for Originality at Cannes and the main winner of the recent Sitges Film Festival), received the European Sound Award for Gisle Tveito and Gustaf Berger's work, and the European Visual Effects Award for Peter Hjorth and Fredrik Nord's work, respectively.

Another Cannes hit, the Palme d'Or winner Titane [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julia Ducournau, Vincent Li…
film profile
]
, directed by Julia Ducournau and also one of the most nominated films in the awards' main categories (see the news), was awarded in the European Make-Up & Hair category, with the prize going to Flore Masson, Olivier Afonso and Antoine Mancini. On the other hand, a Cannes 2020 label title (absent from the awards' main nominations), Francis Lee's Ammonite [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, saw costume designer Michael O'Connor awarded in his category.

Lastly, this year's Berlinale Best Director Award winner, Dénes Nagy's World War II drama Natural Light [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dénes Nagy
film profile
]
, is celebrating the European Production Design win for Márton Ágh's work.

As usual, the rest of the winners will be unveiled during the awards ceremony, which will take place on 11 December in Berlin, and which Cineuropa will be covering and live-streaming.

The awarded films are as follows:

European Cinematography
Crystel Fournier - Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
(Austria/Germany)

European Editing
Mukharam Kabulova - Unclenching the Fists [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Russia)

European Production Design
Márton Ágh - Natural Light [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dénes Nagy
film profile
]
(Hungary/Latvia/Germany/France)

European Costume Design
Michael O'Connor - Ammonite [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 (UK/US/Australia)

European Make-Up & Hair
Flore Masson, Olivier Afonso & Antoine Mancini - Titane [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julia Ducournau, Vincent Li…
film profile
]
(France)

European Original Score
Nils Petter Molvær & Peter Brötzmann - Great Freedom

European Sound
Gisle Tveito & Gustaf Berger - The Innocents [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Eskil Vogt
film profile
]
(Norway/Sweden/Denmark/Finland/France/UK)

European Visual Effects
Peter Hjorth & Fredrik Nord - Lamb [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valdimar Jóhannsson
film profile
]
 (Iceland/Sweden/Poland)

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