Irish Fairy Tale in Contention: European Film Awards & Prix Eurimages + Gotham Nominations

by Anna Robinson
The Secret of Kells
The Secret of Kells (bottom)

The European Film Academy has announced the three nominees for the new European Film Award category “Best Animated Feature Film.”

They are:

Mia and the Migoo (Mia et le Migou) (France 2008)
by Jacques-Rémy Girerd

A young girl sets out looking for her father, a worker at the building site of a luxury hotel in the middle of a hidden forest. Deep in the woods, she comes face to face with the mysterious creature Migoo.

Niko & the Way to the Stars (Niko - Lentäjän poika) (Finland / Germany / Denmark / Ireland 2008)
by Kari Juusonen & Michael Hegner

While still learning how to fly, Reindeer Niko sets out in search of his father, a famous member of the legendary Santa Flying Forces.

The Secret of Kells (Brendan et le Secret de Kells) (France / Belgium / Ireland 2009)
by Tomm Moore

Recently screened in Los Angeles as part of the local Irish Film Festival, The Secret of Kells is set in 9th-century Ireland, where twelve-year-old Brendan discovers a way to protect the locals from Viking raids.

The nominated films will now be submitted to the EFA members. The winner will be announced at the European Film Awards ceremony on Saturday, 12 December, in Bochum, Germany.

The nominations jury was composed of EFA Board Members Per Holst (producer, Denmark) and Antonio Saura (producer, Spain), in addition to CARTOON (the European Association of Animation Film) representatives Agnès Bizzaro (program consultant/ editor, France/Germany), Enzo d'Alo (director, Italy), and Joanna Quinn (director, UK).

European Film Academy website.

European Film Awards: Prix Eurimages

The European Film Academy has announced that the winners of the 2009 Prix Eurimages, an award “acknowledging the decisive role of co-productions in the European film industry,” will go to two producers “who have combined their efforts to develop and promote European cinema”: Diana Elbaum and Jani Thiltges, heads of, respectively, Entre Chien et Loup in Belgium and Samsa Film in Luxemburg. Additionally, they have joined forces with Patrick Quinet, Sébastien Delloye and Claude Waringo to create Liaison Cinématographique, a production company based in Paris.

Under those various banners, Elbaum and Thiltges have co-produced films by Sam Garbarski, Lucas Belvaux, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Jacques Doillon, and Marina de Van. Among their credits (together or individually) are the unusual Jean-Claude van Damme vehicle JCVD; Irina Palm, starring Marianne Faithfull; the Academy Award-nominated Twin Sisters; Daratt, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Venice Film Festival; and Elles, starring Miou Miou, Carmen Maura, Marisa Berenson, and Marthe Keller.

The information below is from the European Film Academy's press release:

Since founding her own company Entre Chien et Loup in 1989, Diana Elbaum has produced a wide range of award-winning films - fictions and documentaries - which have received critical acclaim on all continents. Joined by Sébastien Delloye in 1999, they have together produced some 30 films. In 2008, Diana Elbaum co-founded the company Dream Touch Pictures, the new distribution structure in Belgium.

Diana Elbaum has been a group leader at EAVE since 2006. Graduate of New York University, she now lives in Brussels.

Graduate of the INSAS in Brussels, Jani Thiltges co-founded the company Samsa Film in Luxembourg in 1986. In association with the producer Claude Waringo, he has gained a solid reputation as a producer of commercial arthouse films and has built up a catalogue of some 40 feature films. Jani Thiltges is President of the EAVE programme. In 2004, he was decorated by the Grand-Duke of Luxembourg for his activities in the cinematographic field.

The European Co-Production Award - Prix Eurimages will be presented at the 2009 European Film Awards Ceremony in Bochum, Germany, on Saturday, Dec. 12.

More on Eurimages.

Gotham 2009 Nominations

Considered the official beginning of awards season in the United States, the Independent Feature Project announced its 2009 Gotham Award nominations earlier today in New York City.

The five nominees for best picture are:

  • Cherien Dabis' Amreeka, the tale of a Palestinian mother (Nisreen Faour) who immigrates with her teenage son to the American Midwest. No more pesky Israeli check-points, but lots of meat-patty flipping at burger joints.
  • Robert D. Siegel's Big Fan, in which a hardcore New York Giants fan (breakthrough actor nominee Patton Oswalt) gets beaten up by his favorite player – and then has to deal with his unbridled fanaticism.
  • Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker follows a US Army bomb squad unit doing some dangerous work in an Iraqi town under siege.
  • Directed by Sebastián Silva, and written by Silva and Pedro Peirano, La Nana / The Maid chronicles the emotional ups and downs of a devoted maid (breakthrough actor nominee Catalina Saavedra) whose position is threatened at a wealthy Chilean household. (Curiously, this Chilean-Mexican production – winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize at Sundance 2009 – got in as an “American” film; else, it couldn't have received a Best Picture nomination.)
  • Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man, in which Michael Stuhlbarg plays a man whose life is suddenly turned upside down.

The Hurt Locker and A Serious Man (both of which also received Gotham nominations for best ensemble performance) are strong contenders for US critics' awards, Golden Globes, Oscars, et al, while the inclusion of The Maid in the Gothams' best picture/breakthrough actor lists will possibly increase the chances of Catalina Saavedra to add a few more awards to the World Cinema Prize for Acting she won at Sundance.

The Gotham 2009 winners will be announced on Nov. 30.

Rome Film Festival awards

Golden Marc'Aurelio for Best Film: Brotherhood / Broderskab (dir.: Nicolo Donato).

Grand Jury Prize: The Man Who Will Come / L'uomo che verrà (dir.: Giorgio Diritti).

Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Last Station.

Best Actor: Sergio Castellitto, Raise Your Head / Alza la testa.

Best Documentary: Sons of Cuba (dir.: Andrew Lang).

Best Documentary Special Mention (tie):
Fratelli d'Italia (dir.: Claudio Giovannesi).
Severe Clear (dir.: Kristian Fraga).

Golden Marc'Aurelio Acting Award: Meryl Streep.

Audience Award: The Man Who Will Come.

Roberto Rossellini Foundation Award: Maya Sansa.

Adam Shankman & Bill Mechanic to Produce Academy Awards Telecast

Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic will produce the 2010 Academy Awards telecast, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak has announced today. As per the Academy's press release, this will be the “first major Oscar show involvement” for both of them.

Shankman's directorial credits include Bedtime Stories (2008), Hairspray (2007), A Walk to Remember (2002) and The Wedding Planner (2001). His upcoming projects include Rock of Ages, Sinbad, Bob: The Musical and Bye Bye Birdie. In addition to directing, Shankman, along with his sister, Jennifer Gibgot, produce films through Offspring Entertainment. They are currently producing The Last Song, Going The Distance and Step Up 3D, all set for 2010 release.

Mechanic is the chairman and CEO of Pandemonium Films and the former chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. While he was at Fox, among the studio's releases were True Lies (1994), Braveheart (1995), Titanic (1997), The Full Monty (1997), There's Something About Mary (1998), Boys Don't Cry (1999) and Cast Away (2000).

Before his stint at Fox, Mechanic served in executive positions at the Walt Disney Company and Paramount. His producer credits include this year's animated feature Coraline and the thriller Dark Water (2005).

The 2010 Academy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the U.S., it'll be televised live by ABC.

Photos: John Shearer/ (Shankman), Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S. (Mechanic)

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Leave a Comment


Scott Jeffers -

Poor production value overall- I think this show deserves a veteran with lots of live TV production experience. The Kodak looked great,
switching, audio, lighting-horrible. A little research would have been good too, What happened to Farrah Fawcett? And Edwards Scissorshands a horror film? TV Production has gone to pot.

D Ruth -

In Memoriam: Where was Farrah Fawcett? She was in the movie “Extremities”…….

hju -

i believe the oscars need more than just new producers.
they need a new telecast. more film. less tv dance numbers.
its a film award not a tv award.


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