Toni Erdmann sweeps the 2016 European Film Awards

The LUX Prize was not the final stop for hurricane Toni Erdmann, and so it proves its absolute triumph at the 39th European Film Awards this weekend. “This is the first time that a woman has won this prize, and it’s 2016!” exclaimed a beaming Maren Ade at the National Forum of Music in Wroclaw after she received the Best European Film Award towards the end of the awards ceremony. And she had every reason to be happy: Toni Erdmann finally picked up the “official” recognition that had been denied it following its premiere during the competition of the most recent Cannes Film Festival. The Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Actor (for Peter Simonischek), Best Actress (for Sandra Hüller), Best Director and the aforementioned Best Film were all motives for the German filmmaker’s joy on Saturday night.

And so the breakout film of this year, was the big winner at this edition of the EFAs, leaving the other favourites in its dust: I, Daniel Blake by Ken LoachJulieta by Pedro AlmodóvarElle by Paul VerhoevenRoom by Lenny Abrahamson and Graduation by Cristian Mungiu all went home empty-handed.

In the meantime, the 2016 LUX Prize finalist My Life as a Courgette, Claude Barras’ beautiful animated film, was also the winner in its category. A moved Barras accepted the prize on stage, after beating competitors The Red Turtle by Michael Dudok de Wit and Psiconautas by Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero.

Back on 23 November, Maren Ade’s story about a father and daughter trying to reconnect in tragicomic circumstances was voted the 2016 LUX Prize winner by the European Parliament, and the German filmmaker and her producer Jonas Dornbach received the statuette from the hands of the European Parliament president Martin Schulz.

It’s also worth noting that this marks the second time in history that the 2016 LUX Prize winner goes on to win the Best European Film Award, after the success of Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida in 2014. The biggest Polish hit in recent years would win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film two months later, so Maren Ade’s highly accomplished film could very well follow its steps.

More to follow!