Dec. 5 - Controversial film director Lars von Trier receives a total of 3 awards at 24th European Film Awards in Berlin, including best film for 'Melancholia'. Mirja Mey reports.
Controversial Danish film director Lars von Trier's 'Melancholia' scooped best film at the 24th European Film Awards in Berlin on Saturday. 'Melancholia', von Trier's dark look at depression within an impending apocalyptic setting, all in all received 3 awards. Von Trier himself did not attend the ceremony. At the Cannes Film Festival this year, his remarks about Hitler caused furor and von Trier issued a statement saying he would not make any public appearances for a while. Present and happy about his European Lifetime Achievement Award was British director Stephen Frears. Frears noted the importance of the European Film Awards, often dubbed Europe's answers to the Oscars: SOUNDBITE Stephen Frears, director, saying (English): "I still don't know, I'd say you have to set up these things to somehow hold your own against the Americans. The Americans are so dominant. But it's always good to fight them, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and if you can't join 'em, beat 'em." German Film director Wim Wenders won best director for his dance documentary 'Pina' about choreographer Pina Bausch. The film became a mainstream hit and brought documentary in 3D into the cinemas. Prior to the ceremony Wenders said his nomination felt a little awkward. The director is also president of the European Film Academy. SOUNDBITE Wim Wenders, director, saying (English): "It feels a little strange to be nominated because I feel in many ways irresponsible, and it will probably sink in when the moment comes." Other awards went to Colin Firth and the multiple Oscar-winning film 'The King's Speech', British actress Tilda Swinton and 'We Need to Talk about Kevin' and 'The Artist'. The European Film Awards are dedicated to celebrating excellence and diversity in European Cinema and are voted on by more than 2,500 members of the European Film Academy. Mirja Mey, Reuters