Toni Erdmann: Maren Aden Wins Best Screenplay at European Film Awards

Maren Ade, the German director of Toni Erdmann won the best screenwriter at the 29th European Film Awards in the ceremony held in Wroclaw, Poland.

“Toni Erdmann” is leading the race with six European Film Awards nominations including best Film and best director.

Ade dedicated her award to her father and said she was particularly pleased to win the screenwriting award because it was a key part of the filmmaking process.

Since world premiering at Cannes in competition, “Toni Erdmann” won best film at the the British Independent Film Awards, among many prizes.

Claude Barras’s “My Life as a Zucchini,” which opened at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, won best animated film, beating Michael Dudok de Wit’s “The Red Turtle” and “Psiconautas, the forgotten children.”

“My Life as a Zucchini” is repping Switzerland in the foreign-language Oscar race and is one of the animated feature shortlisted for the best animated feature category. Gkids has U.S. rights.

Polish Małgorzata Szumowska’s “Body” (“Cialo”) won the people’s choice award.

“Body” premiered at Berlin where it earned warm reviews and earned Szumowska a best director award. Variety’s Peter Debruge called it “a darkly comic rumination on what it means to be alive, how humans deal with loss and the question of what comes after.”

Polish actor Maciej Stuhr, who is hosting the ceremony, got political in his opening speech.

“I love Europe. It’s warm here, I like it. Thank you. Film is a wonderful thing. Cinema is a wonderful way to enter the skin of the other, you see the story of someone, and you start to understand them, and then you can discover that under the surface of what you see, they fear what you fear, they love what you love and they’re quite like you,” said Stuhr.

Stuhr said he emceed the European Film Awards 10 years ago, and celebrated the “new Europe with open borders.” “We thought it was was here to stay. We had no idea,” said Stuhr, alluding to the Brexit vote.

The best film category is particularly strong this year with Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winning “I, Daniel Blake,” Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann,” Paul Verhoeven’s thriller “Elle” and Pedro Almodovar’s “Julieta” — all of which are Cannes competition alumni — and Lenny Abrahamson’s heart-wrenching drama “Room” which world premiered last year at Toronto and won a Golden Globe, an Oscar and a BAFTA for its lead actress Brie Larson.

“Elle” star Isabelle Huppert – who has been on a laureled path collecting awards from the Gotham Independent Film Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and New York Film Critics Circle — is considered to be the frontrunner to scoop the European Film Awards’ prize for best actress.

Sony Pictures Classics distributes three of the five film contenders: “Elle,” Toni Erdmann” and “Julieta.”

Other strong contenders in the best actress category include Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (“Like Crazy”), and Sandra Hüller (“Toni Erdmann”).

As previously announced, Pierce Brosnan is being honored with the European Achievement in World Cinema award, while Jean-Claude Carrière is getting the Lifetime Achievement award and Leontine Petit is receiving the European Co-Production award/Eurimages prize.

Last month, the European Film Awards also handed out Martin Zandvliet’s “Land of Mine” three of the first seven prizes for below-the-line categories.

“Land of Mine,” a gripping historical drama following a group of young German POWs forced to de-mine Danish beaches after the Axis defeat, earned Camilla Hjelm Knudsen the Carlo di Palma award for best European cinematographer. It also won for costume design (Stefanie Bieker) as well as hair and makeup (Barbara Kreuzer).

“Land of Mine” represents Denmark in the foreign-language Oscar race and will be released in the U.S. and Latin America by Sony Pictures Classics.

In recent years, the European Film Awards have become international.

Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino won twice in the last five years with “Youth” in 2015 and “The Great Beauty” in 2013.

The list of nominees below:

European Film:
“Elle” (Paul Verhoeven, France, Germany)
“I, Daniel Blake” (Ken Loach, U.K., France)
“Julieta” (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
“Room” (Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland, Canada)
“Toni Erdmann” (Maren Ade, Germany, Austria)

European Director:
Paul Verhoeven (“Elle,” France, Germany)
Cristian Mungiu (“Graduation,” Romania, France, Belgium)
Ken Loach (“I, Daniel Blake,” U.K., France)
Pedro Almodóvar (“Julieta,” Spain)
Maren Ade (“Toni Erdmann,” Germany, Austria)

European Actor:
Rolf Lassgård (“A Man Called Ove”)
Hugh Grant (“Florence Foster Jenkins”)
Dave Johns (“I, Daniel Blake”)
Burghart Klaußner (“The People vs. Fritz Bauer”)
Peter Simonischek, (“Erdmann”)
Javier Cámara, (“Truman”)

European Actress:
Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”)
Emma Suárez & Adriana Ugarte (“Julieta”)
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (“Like Crazy”)
Trine Dyrholm (“The Commune”)
Sandra Hüller (“Toni Erdmann”)

European Screenwriter:
Cristian Mungiu (“Graduation”)
Paul Laverty (“I, Daniel Blake”)
Emma Donoghue (“Room”)
Maren Ade (“Toni Erdmann”)
Tomasz Wasilewski (“United States of Love”)

European Documentary:
“The Land Of The Enlightened” (Pieter-Jan De Pue, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands)
“21 X New York” (Piotr Stasik,Poland)
“Mr. Gaga” (Tomer Heymann, Israel, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands)
“S is for Stanley – 30 Years At The Wheel For Stanley Kubrick” (Alex Infascelli, Italy)
“A Family Affair” (Tom Fassaert, the Netherlands, Belgium)
“Fire At Sea” (Gianfranco Rosi, Italy, France)

European Animated Feature:
“My Life as a Zucchini” (Claude Barras, France, Switzerland)
“Psiconautas, the forgotten children” (Pedro Rivero, Alberto Vázquez, Spain)
“The Red Turtle” (Michael Dudok de Wit, Japan, France, Belgium)

European Comedy:
“A Man Called Ove” (Hannes Holm, Sweden, Norway)
“Look Who’s Back” (David Wnendt, Germany)
“La Vache” (Mohamed Hamidi, France)

Fipresci Prize – European Discovery:
“Dogs” (Bogdan Mirica, France, Romania, Bulgaria, Qatar)
“Liebmann” (Jules Herrmann, Germany)
“Sand Storm” (Elite Zexer, Israel)
“The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki” (Juho Kuosmanen, Finland, Sweden, Germany)
“Thirst” (Svetla Tsotsorkova, Bulgaria)