‘Ghost Writer,’ ‘Pink Saris’ Top European Nominations, Doc Awards

Polanski film tops European Film Awards nominations, while Indian documentary wins at Sheffield Doc/Fest

Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer” and Indian director Kim Longinotto’s documentary “Pink Saris” were the big winners in Europe this weekend, as the European Film Awards announced its 2010 nominations and the Sheffield International Documentary Festival handed out its jury awards.

Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor“The Ghost Writer” (left) is more accurately a nominee, not a winner – but its seven nominations, which include nods for picture, director, screenplay and actor (Ewan McGregor), led the field at the European Film Awards. Polanski’s drama, which was released in the United States early in March, is considered a longshot for Oscar recognition.

Besides “The Ghost Writer,” nominees in the European Film category included Semih Kaplanoglu’s “Bal” (“Honey”) and Xavier Beauvois’ “Of Gods and Men,” the current Oscar submissions from Turkey and France, respectively; Samuel Maoz’s “Lebanon”; Fatih Akin’s “Soul Kitchen”; and the 2009 Foreign-Language Film Oscar winner, “The Secret in their Eyes,” which was submitted to the Oscars by Argentina but qualified for the European awards as a Spanish-Argentinian co-production.

Films that weren’t nominated in the top category include such acclaimed works as Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” and Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy,” while Tilda Swinton (“I Am Love”) and Cannes winner Juliette Binoche (“Certified Copy”) were also overlooked in the European Actress category.

At the Sheffield DocFest, one of the most prestigious documentary festivals in the world, the top jury prize went to “Pink Saris,” which chronicles the Gulabi Gang, a female-led organization that helps Indian women abandoned by their families or communities. Jury chair Eugene Hernandez termed the film “dramatic, as well as transformative.”

The jury also voted a special mention for Patricio Guzman’s “Nostalgia for the Light,” which Hernandez called “a poetic, mysterious and awe-inspiring film of mystery and art.” 

The European Film Awards nominations, and Sheffield Doc/Fest winners:

EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS NOMINATIONS

European Film:
“Bal” (“Honey”)

“Des Hommes et Des Dieux” (“Of Gods and Men”)
“The Ghost Writer”

“Lebanon”
“El Secreto de Sus Ojos” (“The Secret in their Eyes”) 

“Soul Kitchen”

European Director

Olivier Assayas, “Carlos”
Semih Kaplanoglu, “Bal” (““Honey”) 

Samuel Maoz, “Lebanon”
Roman Polanski, “The Ghost Writer” 

Paolo Virzi, “The First Beautiful Thing”

European Actress:

Zrinka Cvitesic, “Na Putu”

Sibel Kekilli, “When We Leave”

Lesley Manville, “Another Year”

Sylvie Testud, “Lourdes”

Lotte Verbeek, “Nothing Personal”

European Actor:

Jakob Cedergren, “Submarino”

Elio Germano, “La Nostra Vita”
Ewan McGregor, “The Ghost Writer”
George Pistereanu, “If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle” 

Luis Tosar, “Cell 211”

European Screenwriter:

Jorge Guerricaechevarria & Daniel Monzon, “Cell 211” 

Robert Harris & Roman Polanski, “The Ghost Writer”

Samuel Maoz, “Lebanon”

Radu Mihaileanu, “The Concert”

Carlo di Palma European Cinematographer Award:

Giora Bejach, “Lebanon”

Caroline Champetier, “Of Gods and Men”

Pavel Kostomarov, “How I Ended this Summer”
Baris Oezbicer, “Honey”

European Editor:

Luc Barnier & Marion Monnier, “Carlos”

Arik Lahav-Leibovich, “Lebanon”

Herve de Luze, “The Ghost Writer”

European Production Designer:
Paola Bizzarri & Luis Ramirez, “I, Don Giovanni” 

Albrecht Konrad, “The Ghost Writer”

Markku Paetilae & Jaagup Roomer, “The Temptation of St Tony”

European Composer:
Ales Brezina, “Kawasaki’s Rose” 

Pasquale Catalano, “Loose Cannons” 

Alexandre Desplat, “The Ghost Writer” 

Gary Yershon, “Another Year”

European Discovery (FIPRESCI Prize):

“The Double Hour”

“If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle”

“Lebanon”

“Nothing Personal”

”When We Leave”

European Film Academy Animated Feature Film:

“The Illusionist”

”Planet 51”

“Sammy’s Adventures: The Secret Passage”

European Film Academy Documentary:

“Armadillo”

“Nostalgia for the Light”
“Steam of Life”

European Film Academy Short Film:
“Amor”
“Diarchy”
“The External World”
“Hanoi – Warsaw”
“Here I Am”
“Joseph’s Snails”
“Lights”
“The Little Snow Animal”
“Maria’s Way”
“Out of Love”
“Rendez-Vous in Stella-Plage”
“Stay, Away”
“Talleres Clandestinos”
“Tussilago”
“Venus vs Me”

SHEFFIELD INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL AWARDS

The Special Jury Award: “Pink Saris,” Kim Longionotto
Special mention: “Nostalgia for the Light,” Patricio Guzman
The Sheffield Inspiration Award: Kim Longionotto
The BT Vision Sheffield Innovation Award: “The Arbor,” Clio Barnard
The Sheffield Green Doc Award: “Rainmakers,” Floris-Jan Luyn
The Sheffield Student Doc Award: “No Easy Time,” Will Woodward
The Sheffield Youth Jury Award: “The Battle for Barking,” Laura Fairrie
BCS Digital Revolutions Award, Amateur Category: “This Chair Is Not Me,” Andy Taylor-Smith
BSC Digital Revolutions Award, Professional Category: “The Scanner,” Edward McGown