ICELAND: Triangle of Sadness, Ruben Ostlund’s parody of western entitlement and self-importance set on a luxury yacht, won the best film along with three other major honors at this year’s European Film Awards in Reykjavik.
In addition to his six other European accolades for his 2017 art-world satire The Square, the Swedish director, who is quickly rising to the top of the EFAs, also won the best director and best screenwriter.
Zlatko Buri, a seasoned Croatian actor, won the best actor for his performance as a Russian fertilizer magnate who turns out to be an unlikely revolutionary onboard Ostlund’s ship of fools that swills vomit.
Ostlund would have no doubt enjoyed the 35th awards ceremony, which was held at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, an upmarket glass structure with more than a whiff of globalized privilege. This was the first physical edition of the ceremony in three years following the Covid pandemic.
However, this year’s European Film Awards revived their reputation for direct political engagement—their usual USP compared to the more flimsy Oscars—after the prior few muted presentations.
By honoring not just one production but the entire Ukrainian film industry in the European co-production award, it demonstrated its support for Ukrainian filmmakers during the ongoing conflict.
Producer Darya Bassel cited Dziga Vertov’s experimental 1929 film Man with a Movie Camera, a Soviet classic that was partially shot in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odessa: Odessa and Kiev: She said, “Its identity was stolen. Just like our culture’s identity is under threat today.”
The European Film Academy showed its support for Ukraine by awarding Mariupol 2, whose Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaraviius was purportedly slain by Russian soldiers in April, the prize for outstanding documentary.
“He lost his life in the kind of selflessness most of us can’t hope to achieve, delivering medicine to people,” his daughter said to the audience to a standing ovation.
Vicky Krieps won the best actress for her portrayal of the restrained Empress Elisabeth of Austria in Marie Kreutzer’s Corsage, breaking the Triangle of Sadness’ dominance.
As Elia Suleiman accepted the world cinema achievement award and Margarethe von Trotta received the lifetime achievement award, making her the third woman to receive this honor in the 34-year history of the awards.
Mike Downey, president of the European Film Academy, was present to describe him in greater detail: “You ridicule ideologies and statehood, but you’re so tender with people.”
Even though Triangle of Sadness is a UK co-production, the British film industry had a poor night. Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical book Belfast only won two technical honors for production and costume design, missing out on best actor for his role in the 1990s drama Aftersun.