0345 GMT January 27, 2020
The film also won four previously announced technical awards for best cinematography, costume design, editing and hair and make-up.
Neither Lanthimos nor Colman attended the ceremony in Berlin, with Colman sending a video message.
Antonio Banderas won the best actor prize for his role in Pedro Almoodvar’s ‘Pain & Glory’.
Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ ‘For Sama’ won the best documentary prize. They accepted the award via video link from Los Angeles where the UK film about the experiences of al-Kateab and her baby daughter in Syria, is gaining momentum as a best documentary contender for the 2020 Oscars.
The entertaining three-hour ceremony, directed for the first time German filmmaker Dietrich Brüggemann and held at Berlin’s Haus der Festspiele, was marked by an emotional tribute to “the one and only” Nik Powell, the former chairman of the European Film Academy who died unexpectedly last month. EFA director Marion Döring and president Wim Wenders paid tribute to Powell and welcomed his daughter Amy who was in town for the ceremony.
Additionally, new EFA chairman producer Mike Downey, who has taken over from filmmaker Agnieszka Holland following the end of her six-year term, welcomed the freed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov on to the stage to a standing ovation.
With Sentsov at his side, Downey formally launched the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk initiative.
Juliette Binoche received the European Achievement in World Cinema award and Werner Herzog was presented with the lifetime achievement award.
On the eve of the European Film Awards, the fourth edition of the European University Film Award (EUFA) was won by French director Céline Sciamma’s ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’. The EUFA became an official award category of the European Film Awards for the first time this year after being launched by EFA and Filmfest Hamburg in 2016.
Students from 24 universities in 24 European countries had viewed and discussed nominated films before one representative from each university came to Hamburg last week for three days of deliberations to decide on the final winner.
‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ screened at Berlin’s Cinema Paris on Friday night as part of the European Union’s European Cinema Night initiative held in 54 cities across the EU from December 2 to 6.
Next year’s awards ceremony will take place in Reykjavik in Iceland. It will be the last held under the management of the EFA director Marion Döring who has held the position since 1996 and been part of the EFA organization since the awards’ inception in 1988.