French Films 'The Big Hit,' 'Josep' Win Comedy, Animation at 2020 European Film Awards

'The Big Hit'
Courtesy of the EFAs

'The Big Hit'

Kad Merad stars as a washed-up actor staging 'Waiting for Godot' with a cast of prisoners in Emmanuel Courcol's 'The Big Hit.'

Two French films, Emmanuel Courcol's The Big Hit, and the hand-drawn Josep, have won the 2020 European Film Awards for best comedy and best animated film, respectively. 

In The Big Hit, French star Kad Merad (Welcome to the Sticks) plays a past-his-prime actor who attempts to give drama lessons to a group of prisoners staging a version of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

The film premiered at the special, three-day Special Cannes 202o film festival, held in October after the coronavirus pandemic forced the regular 2020 event, planned for May, to cancel. 

Josep, the feature debut of editorial journalist Aurélien Froment. better known as award-winning cartoonist Aurel, was also set to premiere in Cannes' official selection in May. Instead it debuted at the online version of animated fest Annecy in June.

Josep tells the story of Spanish artist Josep Bartolí, who survived the Spanish Civil War and internment in a French concentration camp, eventually escaping and immigrating to Mexico, where he became Frida Kahlo's lover. 

The two awards were handed out in an online ceremony, part of a week of virtual events being held by the European Film Academy for this year's awards.

The main European Film Awards will be announced on Saturday, Dec. 12.