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'Lives of Others' tops field at 19th European film nods 'Volver' takes director, actress prizes

Europe's top directors, producers and other leading professionals voted "The Lives of Others" (Das Leben der Anderen), from German director Florian Henckel von Donners-marck, the continent's film of the year Saturday at the 19th European Film Academy awards in Warsaw, Poland (HR 12/4).

Announced at a gala ceremony at Warsaw's Expo XXI center after voting by all 1,700 members of the EFA, "Others" beat five other nominees from both established and debut European directors to win the coveted title European Film of 2006.

Henckel von Donnersmarck also won the prize for best screenwriter, and "Others' " Ulrich Muhe took best actor.

While Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's "Volver" didn't claim the top prize, it scored five wins, including best director for Almodovar and best actress for Penelope Cruz.

The multiple wins for "Others" and "Volver" should give a boost to the films' Oscar prospects. Distributor Sony Pictures Classics is promoting both films in the foreign-language film category and has hopes that "Volver" could figure in the best picture and other races.

It was the first time the awards ceremony had been held in Eastern Europe, and a broadcast of the event — produced in cooperation with Polish broadcaster POLSAT, German pubcaster ZDF and European culture channel ARTE — was scheduled to be transmitted to an "unprecedented" 50 territories worldwide, the EFA said.

A complete list of EFA winners is at www.hollywoodreporter.com.
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