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European Film Award 2013: Highlights

On Saturday 7th December 2013, Berlin proudly hosted the 26th European Film Awards at the Berliner Festspiele. The European equivalent to America’s Oscars, the awards were being held for the twelfth time in the German capital and attracted a host of international stars from the acting world.

Blanca Suarez, Rossy de Palma, Pedro Almodovar, Paz Vega, Leonor Watling at the 26th European Film Awards. Image: Agency People Image (c) Jessica Kassner

Led by German actress and comedian Anke Engelke in an amazing gold dress, the ceremony took many unexpected twists and turns – the surprise ‘winner’ of the evening undoubtedly Italian film ‘The Great Beauty’ by Paolo Sorrentino, who was sadly unable to attend on the evening. Instead lead actor Toni Servillo represented the director, collecting not only the much coveted ‘Best  Film’ award but also the awards for best actor (presented by German actress Dianne Kruger), director and editor.

Noomi Rapace presenting Pedro Almodovar with the European Achievement in World Cinema award. Image: Agency People Image (c) Jessica Kassner

Despite Italy taking main stage Germany was also well represented by Jan Ole Gerster‘s debut film ‘Oh Boy’. Set in black and white on the streets of Berlin and following the life of Niko Fischer, university drop out, the film was critically acclaimed across Germany and earned Tom Schilling a best actor nomination for his lead role as well as securing the European Discovery award.

Hannah Herzsprung, Volker Schlöndorff and Karoline Herfurth at the aftershow party at Hotel Concorde Berlin. Image: Agency People Image (c) Jessica Kassner

Further highlights included director Joshua Oppenheimer’s acceptance speech for his film ‘The Act of Killing’ – a film documenting the brutal mass genocide which happened in Indonesia in the 1960s – winning best European Documentary. He said earnestly, “Europe has known much more than its fair share of genocide this last century…for me this is particularly relevant here in Berlin where my grandmother is from, and who left just before it was too late.” He went on to dedicate his award to the anonymous Indonesian crew who made the film who risked 8 years of their lives to create it.

The aftershow party in St. Germain at Hotel Concorde Berlin - Joshua Oppenheimer in conversation here, left. Image: Hotel Concorde Berlin

Other memorable moments included the on stage accolade Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar received from his friends and actors when receiving the award for European Achievement in World Cinema, and also the following tribute to legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve, who graciously received her Lifetime Achievement award.

The colourful aftershow party at Hotel Concorde with Hans Nieswandt and Eric D. Clark. Image: Hotel Concorde Berlin

Following the ceremony the stars and guests were whisked away to Hotel Concorde Berlin for the after show party, where the celebrations went on well into the next morning with a non-stop supply of the most delicious drinks and an infectiously festive atmosphere. The late night ravers were accompanied by DJ and singer  Hans Nieswandt and Eric D. Clark- the perfect way to end the evening.

Bird's eye view of the after show party at Hotel Concorde Berlin. Image: Hotel Concorde Berlin

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