An International Star Show
Hosted by British TV presenter Tania Bryer, the 10th European Film Awards Ceremony kicked off with the presentation of this year's People's Choice Award (PCA) for Best Actor. On stage to present the prize were actress Daphne Deckers from the new James Bond TOMORROW NEVER DIES and Ulrich Plett of Arthur Anderson, auditor for the audience award. As the British actress announced, the award went to «one of Europe's most exciting new stars», Javier Bardem from Spain.
Taking place on the spacious stage at Berlin's Space Dream Musical Theatre, next was the international critics award. British filmmaker Terry Gilliam joked that he was disappointed because his co-presenter wasn't a tall, blonde and beautiful girl but Derek Malcolm of FIPRESCI (the international federation of film critics). The award went to Portuguese veteran filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira, as Malcolm said, «the oldest working filmmaker in age, but the youngest in heart.»
Swedish actress Helena Bergström and her French colleague Vincent Perez presented the nominations for European Screenwriter of the Year and announced that the award went to Alain Berliner and Chris Vander Stappen for MA VIE EN ROSE from Belgium. Visibly touched, Chris Vander Stappen thanked the Academy, saying that «screenwriters aren't used to being in the spotlight.»
To present the award European Actor of the Year, next were US director Taylor Hackford and actress Charlize Theron from South Africa. The prize went to an overjoyed Bob Hoskins for his role in TWENTYFOURSEVEN.«Thank you very, very much!», the actor shouted.
German actors Heike Makatsch and Moritz Bleibtreu announced the award European Cinematographer of the Year for John Seale for THE ENGLISH PATIENT and handed the award to the film's director Anthony Minghella.
Next were two US-American actors, a very animated Parker Posey and her colleague Craig Chester. They announced the winner of the new Screen International Five Continents Award (for a non-European film) which went to HANA-BI by Takeshi Kitano from Japan.
This year's documentary award went to the Belgian film GIGI, MONICA... ET BIANCA by Benoit Dervaux, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. On stage to present the European Documentary of the Year – Prix ARTE were Spanish actress Rosana Pastor and Robert Eisenhauer of ARTE.
After a special show by the Space Dream performers, German actor Jan Josef Liefers and his Swedish colleague Björn Kjellman presented the award for European Actress of the Year to Juliette Binoche for her role in THE ENGLISH PATIENT. The French actress thanked the European Film Academy pointing out she had already received her main award,«the reward of working together with Anthony Minghella.»
The honorary award European Achievement in World Cinema was presented to Milos Forman for THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT. The Czech filmmaker couldn't attend but sent his greetings via video message, stating that it was kind of ironic that when European filmmakers go to Hollywood, they «dream of making American movies with the good guys fighting the bad guys, the good guys win - whatever the cost - everybody's happy in the end.» On the other hand, he said, when American filmmakers come to Europe, they dream of «making intellectual European films, where the good guys - whom we later find out are really the bad guys - fight the bad guys - who we'll discover later are really the good guys. And in the end nobody wins, everybody's angry.»
After a performance by German actress Jasmin Tabatabai, EFA President Wim Wenders and Juliane Lorenz, director of the Fassbinder Foundation, announced the European Discovery of the Year – Fassbinder Award for a first feature film. The prize went to French director Bruno Dumont for LA VIE DE JESUS who said that he was very touched to receive the award, particularly in Berlin.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of this year's honorary European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award which went to Jeanne Moreau. The iconic French actress, a key face of the Nouvelle Vague admired for her roles in films such as L'ASCENSEUR POUR L'ECHAUFFAUD by Louis Malle, JULES ET JIM by François Truffaut, LA NOTTE by Michelangelo Antonioni and QUERELLE by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, exclaimed - in French and English - that «it's lovely to receive such an award!» Presenting the award were actresses Katja Riemann (Germany) and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón (Spain).
Finally, British comedy hit THE FULL MONTY by Peter Cattaneo scooped not only the People's Choice Award for Best Film, presented by Dutch actress and news anchor woman Carolyn Lilipaly and Irish actor Stuart Townsend, but also the award European Film of the Year. On stage to present this final award to the film's nervous producer Uberto Pasolini were British actors Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons.