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In a reverse of the Cannes Film Festival, Maren Ade's German comedy Toni Erdmann beat out Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake to sweep the main categories of the 2016 European Film Awards, taking best film, best director, best screenplay and acting honors for stars Sandra Huller and Peter Simonischek.
Ade is the first female director to win best film at the EFAs, now in its 29th year.
Toni Erdmann was snubbed by the Cannes Jury, which gave the Palme d'Or to Loach's social drama. But at the EFAs, Europe's premier film honor, Ade's dramedy won out, winning in every category in which it was nominated. The awards sweep should give a further boost to Sony Pictures Classics' U.S. release, set for Dec. 25. Toni Erdmann is Germany's official entry for best foreign-language film for the 2017 Oscars.
The EFAs honor the best in European cinema from the past year. Members of the European Film Academy pick their favorites in a slew of categories. The European cinema-going public also voted for the People's Choice Award, which went to Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska for her drama Body, which premiered in Berlin this year.
Former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan received this year's European Achievement in World Cinema honor and gave a moving speech, calling on young filmmakers that "whatever the politics of your nation is, be true to yourself, be bold and go forth!"
French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere (Cyrano von Bergerac, The Unbearable Lightness of Being) was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Leontine Petit, one of the producers on The Lobster, received the European co-production award, the Prix Eurimages.
Legendary Polish director Andrzej Wajda, who died in October, was honored with a posthumous prize, the award of the EFA President and Board. The honor has only been awarded three times in the past: to Sir Michael Caine last year, and to two of the EFA's founding members: Manoel de Oliveira and Michel Piccoli.
The technical awards —including editing, cinematography, sound design, score, costume and make-up —were picked by a 7-member expert jury and announced earlier.
A list of winners follows.
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West Side Story