‘Robot Dreams’, by Pablo Berger, wins the award for best European animated film | Culture

Bilbao-born Pablo Berger won the award for best European animated film this Saturday thanks to his Robot Dreams. The fourth feature film by the Spanish filmmaker is a hymn to friendship and the city of New York through the relationship between a dog and his pet, a robot, in a sentimental drama without words, but bustling with sounds and noises. On stage, Berger asked the audience attending the 36th awards ceremony, held in Berlin, headquarters of the European Film Academy, to repeat that “animation is not a genre,” and encouraged, after asking to join him on stage his producer, Sandra Tapia, other filmmakers to “explore the endless possibilities of animation.” Finally, he dedicated the award to the Spanish animation industry. It’s a great end to a week in which Robot Dreams, First, it has reached commercial theaters, and then, it was learned that the Hollywood Academy included it along with They shot the pianist, by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, and unicornwars, by Alberto Vázquez, among the 30 titles that may enter its category at the Oscars: the first selection, which will leave that race at 15 films, will be made public on December 21.

There was half an hour in which Spanish cinema shone. Among the awards considered technical, announced a few days ago, The Snow Society, from JA Bayona, won the best makeup and hairdressing award, for Ana López-Puigcerver, Belén López-Puigcerver, David Martí and Montse Ribé, and the best visual effects award, for Félix Bergés and Laura Pedro (both teams are also in the race of the Oscars). And in that segment Isabel Coixet (Sant Adrià de Besòs, 63 years old) received one of the three honorary awards, the so-called European Achievement in World Cinema. The other two honorary awards went to the British actress Vanessa Redgrave (who thanked her in a recorded video, as she was unable to travel), in the tribute to a career section, and the legendary Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr was honored with the honorary trophy of the presidency and the council of the Academy, created for this occasion. Coixet, presented by Laia Costa, protagonist of her One Love, and after a video that reviewed his prolific career, most of it in English, he thanked the award, declared his love for Agnieszka Holland and joked about the elongated silhouette of the statuette: “I’m not the one who said it looks like a sex toy.” , but the Academy could put some batteries into it next year and thus give it a use.”

In the rest of the ceremony, boring, long and bleak, there was no color: the French Anatomy of a fall, by French director Justine Triet, won the awards for best film, direction, screenplay (by Triet and Arthur Harari), editing and leading actress, for Sandra Hüller. The German performer is clearly the performer of the year, thanks to her roles in this courtroom drama as a widow accused of murdering her husband and as the wife of the commandant of Auschwitz in The area of ​​interest, by Jonathan Glazer, a film for which he was also competing in this category. With the award in hand, Hüller pointed out that the statuette is a woman, and she asked for a moment of silence to implore and “imagine peace” in the hard times that everyone is experiencing.

The French director Justine Triet, with the award for best director for 'Anatomy of a Fall'.
The French director Justine Triet, with the award for best director for ‘Anatomy of a Fall’.CLEMENS BILAN (EFE)

The exuberant quality of European cinema this season has been overshadowed by the sweep of the last Palme d’Or at the Cannes festival, which curiously is not its country’s candidate for the Oscars, a very debatable decision made by a committee. There were no prizes for Green Border, by Agnieszka Holland; I, captain, by Matteo Garrone; neither Fallen Leaves, by Aki Kaurismäki, which a few weeks ago international critics, through its Fipresci association, recognized as the best title of 2023. The aforementioned The area of ​​interest achieved the best sound and the Italian The chimera that of production design. From the shadow of Anatomy of a fall only the danish came out The Promise Land, thanks to its awards for best actor, for its star Mads Mikkelsen (who, coincidentally, worked with Berger in the Spaniard’s first feature film, Torremolinos, 73), to costume design and best photography.

In the rest of the awards, the award for best documentary stands out, for Smoke Sauna Sisterhood, by Anna Hints; European discovery of the year, for the British How To Have Sex, by Molly Manning Walker, and the youth award, for the also British Scrapper, from Charlotte Regan. The Academy has 4,600 members from 52 countries, a list that includes Israel and Palestine.

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