European Film Awards 2018: Pawlikowski’s Cold War Dominates Kudos

Pawel Pawlikowski’s romance set in the 1950s, Cold War, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday.

“Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress.

Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor.

Armando Iannucci’s political satire “The Death of Stalin” won for best European comedy. Adapted from the French graphic novel by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, “The Death of Stalin” is a comic look at how Joseph Stalin’s stroke in 1953 threw the U.S.S.R. into chaos and inspired a mad power grab among his top advisors.

“This is very brave of you. This movie was banned in Russia,” Iannucci said upon picking up his award onstage. The British writer-director added that he loved Europe and made a joke about Brexit.

Lukas Dhont’s “Girl,” which represents Belgium in the foreign-language Oscar race and won four awards at the Cannes Film Festival, picked up the European Discovery prize. Damian Nenow and Raúl de la Fuente’s “Another Day of Life” won for best European animated feature.

“One thing that I learned from Ryszard Kapuściński is that we should stay together and stop looking at the world from west to east or from south to west,” de la Fuente said. “The meaning of life is crossing borders.”

The People’s Choice Award 2018 went to Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name.”

“Dogman” and “Cold War” were among the films that had dominated the nominations going into Saturday evening’s ceremony in Seville, Spain, along with “Girl,” Alice Rohrwacher’s “Happy as Lazzaro” and Ali Abbasi’s “Border.” All of those titles world-premiered in Cannes, where Pawlikowski won the award for best director.

The EFA audience paid tribute to Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, an opponent of Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government, who’s imprisoned by Russian authorities for several years on what critics allege is a trumped-up terrorism charge, and Russian helmer Kirill Serebrennikov (“Summer”), who is currently under house arrest and facing a trial.

French-Greek director Costa-Gavras received the Honorary Award from Wim Wenders, president of the European Film Academy, who praised the honoree for his uncompromisingly strong political voice.

Spanish actress Carmen Maura received the Lifetime Achievement award. Maura, whose career spans six decades, was a driving force in persuading Pedro Almodovar to shoot his first commercial feature, “Pepi, Luci, Bom and a Whole Lot of Other Girls.” Maura starred in most of Almodovar’s early films, through to the Oscar-nominated “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”

Ralph Fiennes received the European Achievement in World Cinema Award. “In anticipation of this occasion, I couldn’t help but reflect on what it means to be European,” said Fiennes. “Can I be English and European? Emphatically yes. This is the feeling I have in my gut.”