Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (2007)
The wins, coming after Mungiu took the Palme d'Or in Cannes, put the first-time director and 4 Months at the front of the pack for next year's Oscar race for best foreign-language film.
"This is a great honor", said Mungiu, accepting the best film trophy in Berlin on Saturday. "I won't thank my producer because I was my producer."
Mungiu did, however, thank his young cast of unknowns before giving a shout-out to the Festival de Cannes.
"I really want to thank Cannes for this year opening up the competition to newcomers like me," Mungiu said. "It has made all the difference".
Cannes also made all the difference for the Israeli crowd-pleaser The Band's Visit, which followed up its Un Certain Regard Jury prize with two EFA trophies: best actor for star Sasson Gabai and the European Discovery 2007 prize for director Eran Kolirin.
Visit isn't in the running for the foreign-language Oscar because much of the film is in English, but the EFA wins could give the picture a bump as it continues its international rollout.
Another Cannes winner -- Fatih Akin's The Edge of Heaven -- won the best screenplay prize. Akin thanked his editor, Andrew Bird, quipping that the "final result on the screen was much different than my original screenplay."
The wins for 4 Months and Visit were a surprise for many pundits who thought Romania and Israel lacked the lobbying power with the big voting blocks in the European Film Academy, whose members vote for the EFAs.
The pretender to Queen's throne is Kevin Macdonald's The Last King of Scotland, which received five EFA noms, including one for best film.
Also in the running for the top prize of European Film 2007 are a bevy of festival favorites, including Cristian Mungiu's Cannes Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; Fatih Akin's cross-cultural drama The Edge of Heaven and Oliver Dahan's Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose, all of which received multiple EFA nominations.
The dark horse in the best film race is Persepolis, the animated feature by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud based on Satrapi's graphic novel.
Beat out in the best picture run but still attracting EFA nominations in the direction, acting and cinematography categories was the mystery thriller The Unknown, from Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore.
The makeup of the European Film Academy, whose 1,800 members vote for the EFAs, tends to favor productions from Western Europe, and this year's nominations attest to that.
With the notable exception of Mungiu's much-praised 4 Months, only two productions from Eastern or Central Europe made the cut: Banishment, from Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev, and the Serbian musical comedy Gucha, from Dusan Milic.
Another exception to the dominance of "old Europe" is the Israeli crowd-pleaser The Band's Visit, which picked up nominations in the European actor and European screenplay categories.
The only other multiple nominee at this year's EFAs is Tom Tykwer's European boxoffice hit Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, which received four nominations, including one in the best European actor section for newcomer Ben Whishaw.
Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome, directed by Robert Patton-Spruill, gives a rare insight into the group and features interviews with musicians Henry Rollins and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello. Meanwhile, director Andrea Kreuzhage's documentary 1000 Journals focuses on the social/art project initiated by San Francisco-based artist "Someguy".
Two foreign films will make their U.S. debut at the festival: the Canadian drama The Tracey Fragments, directed by Bruce McDonald, and With Your Permission, an entry from Denmark directed by Paprika Steen.
Another 11 films playing at the Toronto International Film Festival also will screen, including 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days directed by Cristian Mungiu; Eran Kolirin's The Band's Visit; Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiter; Gael Garcia Bernal's Deficit; Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Hao Hsiao-hsien's Flight of the Red Balloon; Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen's Jellyfish; Jason Reitman's Juno; Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis; Tamara Jenkins' The Savages; and Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine.
Passes are on sale through the festival's Web site at AFI.com, or by phone, (866) AFI-FEST.
Although it was the first year without co-founders Bill and Stella Pence, who announced their retirement at the end of last year's event, co-founder Tom Luddy and his new co-director, Gary Meyer, stuck with the intimate communal formula that has made Telluride one of the world's most unique, and consistently praised, film festival destinations.
While regulars cited the absence of a "wow" film on the level of last year's The Lives of Others, which was discovered at Telluride and rode that initial buzz right into Oscar night when it was named Best Foreign Language Film, there was no shortage of festival favorites.
Among those titles receiving particularly enthusiastic response from audiences were Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, both Cannes award-winners, as well as Sean Penn's Into the Wild, Austrian filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters and the animated Persepolis, based on Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel about coming of age in Tehran under the rule of Ayatollah Khomeni.
Audiences were also unanimously charmed by Cannes crowd-pleaser The Band's Visit, by Israeli filmmaker Eran Kolirin.
But they were decidedly split on I'm Not There, Todd Haynes' highly original take on the life and times of Bob Dylan during the height of his career.
The high-altitude, informal, equalitarian festival, which runs today through Monday, has undergone change at the top: Bill and Stella Pence, who co-founded the fest in 1974 with Tom Luddy and the late James Card, announced their resignation last year and will not participate in this year's gathering. Longtime Telluride participant Gary Meyer has joined Luddy as co-director.
But festivalgoers aren't likely to see changes because of the transition. "Emotionally, it was very different," Luddy said. "I kept thinking about 33 years of having constant conversations with my partner and friend Bill Pence, but Gary Meyer is also an old friend. Bill and I both identified Gary as really the one and only candidate to replace Bill when that day would come," Luddy added, noting of the partial changing of the guard that "it was pretty smooth, very harmonious and very efficient."
As usual, there will be first looks at Hollywood product that could well figure in the fall's awards race. The lineup includes Sean Penn's Into the Wild, an adaptation of Jon Krakauer's account of a fateful trip into the Alaskan wilderness, which will be released by Paramount Vantage; Noah Baumbach, in his first film since The Squid and the Whale, looks at two contentious sisters (Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh) in Paramount Vantage's Margot at the Wedding; Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan study I'm Not There, from the Weinstein Co.; and Allison Eastwood, making her directorial debut with the family drama Rails and Ties, starring Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden, from Warner Independent Pictures.
There also is a strong selection of titles that earned critical applause at May's Festival de Cannes. "Cannes had a very strong year", Luddy said. "Normally, we try to show a number of films from Cannes, but I think we're showing many more than usual, and I think we could have included a lot more."
The program includes Cannes' Palme d'Or winner, Romanian director Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, which IFC Films has picked up for U.S.
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