European Film Awards: Berlin Winner 'Fire at Sea' Makes Documentary Shortlist

'Fire at Sea' film still - H 2016
Courtesy of Berlin International Film Festival

The film, about the European refugee crisis, goes up against an eclectic mix of personal and political non-fiction.

The European Film Academy has announced its 15-title shortlist of contenders for this year's Best European Documentary award, a group that includes festival darlings, personal essays and celebrity profiles.

Fire at Sea, Gianfranco Rosi's look at the refugee crisis in Europe, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival this year, is the early favorite to take the EFA best documentary honor, but the film faces some stiff competition in a category that has often proved difficult to handicap.

Among the other non-fiction titles in the running are Marianna Economou's The Longest Run, a look at two teen refugees stranded in a Greek prison; Becoming Zlatan, Fredrik and Magnus Gertten's portrait of Swedish soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic; and A German Life, an up-close look at Brunhilde Pomsel, the 105-year-old woman who was once the secretary of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

Tom Fassaert's A Family Affair; 1 X New York from Polish director Piotr Stasik; the Czech film Mallory from Helena Trestikova; Sergi Loznitsa's The Event; Danish documentary Deja Vu; Europe, She Loves from director Jan Gassmann; Andre Schafer's Herr Von Bohlen, Pieter-Jan De Pue's The Land of the Englightened; We'll Be Alright from Alexander Kuznetsov; and the Pietro Marcello-directed doc Lost and Beautiful complete the shortlist.

The EFA documentary committee picked the 15 titles from submissions made by 10 of Europe's leading documentary festivals and by individual producers. EFA members will now vote to trim the list to five documentary nominees.

The best European documentary of 2016 will be announced at the European Film Awards in Wroclaw, Poland, on Dec. 10.