Oscar Winner 'The King's Speech' Competes for European Film Academy's Top Award

 Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

LONDON  -- The Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech has another chance to add to its burgeoning awards roster with a tilt at this year’s European Film Academy’s best European film award.

The film’s Oscar-winning star Colin Firth also finds himself in the running to pick up yet another top notch award for his turn as the stuttering King George VI in the European Academy’s best actor category.

Should The King’s Speech reign on the evening of the awards it will have overcome a list of heavyweight arthouse contenders including The Artist, written and directed by Michel Nazanavicius, Susanne Bier’s Haevnen (In a Better World) and Aki Kaurismaki’s Le Havre.

Also looking to upset the coronation of The King’s Speech is Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Kid With a Bike.

Firth also finds himself with some stiff opposition in the European actor category with several turns from the best film nominations featuring.

Jean Dujardin for his role in The Artist, Mikael Persbrandt in Haevnen and Andre Wilms for his outing in Le Havre find themselves alongside Michel Piccoli in Habemus Papam challenging for Firth’s crown.

The European best actress shortlist includes Kirsten Dunst, an actress who also possesses a German passport alongside her U.S. creditentials, for  her turn in Melancholia.

Dunst finds herself up against fellow Melancholia star Charlotte Gainsbourg, Cecile de France for The Kid With a Bike and Nadezhda Markina for her outing in Elena.

But the actress being tipped to beat is Tilda Swinton for her dominating screen presence in We Need To Talk About Kevin.

All eyes and ears will be on the stage should von Trier triumph in the evening’s best European director category for Melancholia.

Challenges come from the Dardenne brothers (Bike), Bier (Haevnen), Kaurismaki (Le Havre) and Bela Tarr for A Torinoi Lo.

Best European screenwriter of 2011 will also come from the Dardenne Brothers (Bike), Kaurismaki (Le Havre), Von Trier (Melancholia) or Anders Thomas Jensen (Haevnen).

The nominations have been narrowed down from a long list made up by the 20 countries with the most EFA members, which have voted one national film directly onto the list, while further films were added by EFA board members and experts.

Leading the way with seven nominations is Melancholia, followed by  four nominations each for The Artist, The Kid with a Bike, The King’s Speech, Le Havre and Haevnen.

Films from 32 European countries were repped on this year’s long list.

The more than 2,500 EFA Members will now vote for the winners.

The 24th European Film Awards will be presented in Berlin on Dec. 3 this year.

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