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The Lives of Others Wins European Film Award

Lives_of_others_4 The Lives of Others knocked my socks off at the Telluride Film Festival, and I was not alone. It's a tough, competitive year in the race for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Word is that the movie played well at its Academy screening. And now it has won the Best European Film Award, which can't hurt, plus Best Actor (Urich Muhe) and screenwriter (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck) who I interviewed for this week's Risky column. The Lives of Others went head to head with Pedro Almodovar's Volver, and won the big prize (Volver won director, actress, cinematography and composer).

This is awkward for U.S. distributor Sony Pictures Classics, which is giving The Lives of Others a one-week Oscar qualifying run, because the company is pushing Volver for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and Actress as well as Foreign Film. They can't campaign too hard for this young German rookie's first film at the expense of Almodovar. Volver is doing well with the Academy, and is a welcome celebration of warmth and life during an unusually grim season. But I'm sensing The Lives of Others is gaining momentum. I told my Premiere editor back in October that I thought it had a shot at a Best Picture nomination and she thought I was daft. The movie is about the redemptive power of art, and shows how the abuse of power can corrupt that delicate creative process. Isn't that something Hollywood knows a lot about?

Here's bloggernewsnetwork:

German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s ‘The Lives of Others’, set in communist-era East Germany, triumphed over Pedro Almodovar’s ‘Volver’ to win the European Film 2006 at the 19th European Film Awards here. Donnersmarck also scored the European Screenwriter 2006 award Saturday night, while Ulrich Muhe won European Actor 2006 for his role in the critically acclaimed film ‘Das Leben Der Anderen’ in the original German-language version.

The films selected this year represent European cinema in all its colours and styles.” He added: “European films are typically seen as very artistic, and this is perhaps true, but the stories are often realistic, and so are the main characters. In Europe, we seldom refer to a “hero” of the film, as the characters are much more multidimensional. There are seldom clearly “bad guys” or “good guys”. No doubt this makes the films more challenging for the viewer, but also more rewarding.”

Ms. Tan Gaik Lian, Marketing Manager of Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd said: “We are proud and delighted to be the official venue of the European Union Film Festival once again. It is through lasting partnerships with the likes of the 2006 European Film Festival which offers the discerning Malaysian movie buffs a wider selection of non-mainstream, art house and foreign language movies that GSC has maintained its position as the leading cinema chain.” She added “Thanks to this festival, Malaysian viewers can take this golden opportunity to catch multi- award winning films.”

From award winners in major festivals all over the world to critics and audience recognition in their own countries, from romantic dramas to comedies, all movies will bring you a different taste of cinema, an original facet of Europe and its incredibly diversity. Among them are Finland’s Mother of Mine, winner of the Golden Pyramid award for best film at the Cairo International Film Festival as well as the Audience Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2006 ; Germany’s The Edukators, selected in the official competition at the 2004 Cannes Festival and winner of 2nd Prize in Seville (2004), the Bavarian Film Award (2004), and the German Film Award (2005); Romania’s Occident, selected at the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Festival and winner of several awards in several festivals (Mons, Sofia International Film Festivals…) and many more…
Spanish director Almodovar’s life-after-death comic drama ‘Volver’ (Coming Back) won in the categories of best European director, actress, composer and cinematographer.


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  • Risky Biz blog takes a deep, daily look at the film industry's ups, downs and deals from around the world and the heart of Hollywood. It is edited by media and entertainment journalist Steven Zeitchik, with contributions from The Hollywood Reporter's worldwide team of film editors and reporters. Zeitchik is a Los Angeles-based writer for THR and also has written for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

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