by Nathaniel R.
This year’s European Film Awards ceremony (which changes location each season) will take place in Rekyjavik, Iceland on December 10. Although the nominations won’t be announced until November 8, we now know 30 of the titles that are being considered for these nominations (another dozen are usually added to the list before voting). On the following list, you’ll see a few titles from the 2021 Oscars, but that’s because EFA’s schedule stretches from summer to summer and cares less about release dates and more about world premieres (which is smart given that so many different countries are involved); films that had their first official screenings between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022 are eligible. The EFA Awards are always interesting as they are quite unpredictable and have no worries about being an Oscars indicator, although some of the titles vying for the awards each year end up submissions to their respective countries’ Oscars.
List is after the jump (links go to reviews or cover if we did)…
- ALCARRAS (Spain) – Winner of the Golden Bear in Berlin. Drama about a large family and a peach orchard that they risk losing in Catalonia. Spain will release its list of Oscar finalists tomorrow and we expect that to be cited.
- AS FAR AS I CAN WALK (Serbia) – Drama about Ghanaian immigrants in Serbia
- THE BEASTS (Spain) – A French couple (Denis Menochet and Marina Foïs) living in Spain come into conflict with their neighbours. From rising director Rodrigo Sorogoyen, already nominated for an Oscar thanks to his short film Mother
- BEAUTIFUL BEINGS (Iceland) – Concerning an increasingly violent group of boys, one of their sighted mothers
- BELFAST (UK/Ireland)
- BLESSING (UK) Terence Davies latest, a biopic about poet Siegfried Sassoon had a low-key release this summer in the US
- SKY BOY (Sweden)
- HOT DAYS (Turkey) – A ‘moral thriller’ about a young prosecutor drawn into local politics. Although it did not win anything at Cannes, it was well rated in Un Certain Regard programming and was also eligible for the Queer Palm.
- CLOSE (Belgium)
- BODICE (Austria)
- THE EIGHT MOUNTAINS (Belgium/Italy)
- HEY (Poland)
- GIRL PICTURE (Finland) Last week to see it in theaters in NY and LA (!) so catch it tonight or tomorrow if you rescheduled. This coming-of-age photo of three girls in Helsinki won the Grand Jury Prize and People’s Choice Award for World Cinema at Sundance. It’s “ihana”! (It’s an all-purpose Finnish superlative, the only Finnish word I know!). We really hope this becomes Finland’s Oscar submission.
- EARTH GOD (Iceland) 19th century drama about a young Danish priest (Elliott Crosse Hove) in Iceland. One of Iceland’s most internationally recognized stars, former EFA nominee Ingvar Sigurdsson (A white white day) has a supporting role. We expect this to be Iceland’s submission to the Oscars, although they have yet to make an announcement.
- THE HOLE (Italy)
- HOLY SPIDER (Sweden)
- MAIXABEL (Spain) – A widow agrees to meet the man who killed her husband. From director Iciar Bollain (Take my eyes, even the rain, Rosa’s wedding).
- MEDITERRANEAN FEVER (Palestine) – A chronically depressed writer befriends a con artist in Haifa. Amer Hlehel and Ashraf Farah (who were both recently in Tel Aviv on fire) star.
- RABIYE KURNAZ AGAINST GEORGE BUSH (Germany) – Meltem Kaptan won the Silver Bear for starring at the Berlinale for this political drama about a housewife relentlessly seeking to help her son despite indifferent responses from the authorities.
- REFLECTION (Ukraine) – Revolves around a surgeon who attempts to heal and return to humanity after a brutal captivity by Russian military forces. Valentyn Vasyanovych’s previous feature, Atlantis, was submitted for Ukraine’s Oscar for 2020. Will this one follow in his footsteps?
- TORI AND LOKITA (Belgium)
- TRIANGLE OF SAD (Sweden/United Kingdom) – Palme d’Or at Cannes. He is expected to be an Oscar player this year, but not in the international category since he is in English.
- WILL-O-THE-WISP (Portugal) The latest film by always provocative queer director João Pedro Rodrigues (The Ornithologist, O Fantasma) is about two men in a fire brigade “immersed in love and desire”
- WOMEN CRY (Bulgaria) – Overall drama about women in Bulgaria and violent protests and debates about gender
Many details and images of the films are available on the European Film Awards website.