Brussels, 3 March 2014
Fantastico! Vassiliou congratulates Sorrentino after La Grande Bellezza scoops Oscar
European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has congratulated Italian director-screenwriter Paolo Sorrentino whose MEDIA-backed epic La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at last night's 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood. The movie, staring Toni Servillo as a 65-year-old socialite reflecting on his life in Rome, has received more than €300 000 to date from the European Union's MEDIA programme for film development and distribution. In total, seven MEDIA-backed titles were nominated for Oscars in six categories.
Writing on Twitter this morning, Commissioner Vassiliou commented: "It gave me great pleasure to hand over the best European Film Award to the Great Beauty by Sorrentino last December. Now I am thrilled that it received the Oscar as well for the best foreign film. Fantastico!".
La Grande Bellezza, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, is an Italian (Medusa Film, Indigo Film) and French (Babe Film) co-production. As well as winning four prizes at the European Film Awards in Berlin last December (best film, director, actor, editor), it has also won the best foreign film category at the Golden Globes and the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs).
European film-makers had a good night at the Oscars. The Best Picture award went to 12 Years a Slave by British director Steve McQueen, while space drama Gravity, filmed at the Pinewood and Shepperton Studios near London, won seven Oscars, including direction (Alfonso Cuarón) and technical awards for cinematography, film editing, visual effects, sound editing, sound mixing and score.
Mr Hublot by Laurent Witz (France) and Alexandre Espigares (Spain-Luxembourg), won the Oscar for Animated Short. The animation features a character created by the Belgian sculptor Stéphane Halleux.
MEDIA-backed films nominated for the 86th Academy Awards
Philomena by Stephen Frears (United Kingdom, France, USA)
Awarded €402 000 from MEDIA distribution
Best Foreign Language Film:
La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) by Paolo Sorrentino (Italy, France)
Awarded €314 000 from MEDIA development and distribution
Jagten (The Hunt) by Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark)
Awarded €662 000 from MEDIA development, i2i and distribution
L'Image manquante (The Missing Picture) by Rithy Panh (Cambodia, France)
Awarded €54 000 from MEDIA distribution
The Broken Circle Breakdown by Felix Van Groeningen (Belgium)
Awarded €388 000 from MEDIA distribution
Best Animated Feature Film:
Ernest and Celestine by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner (France, Belgium)
Awarded €184 000 from MEDIA development and distribution
Best Documentary Feature:
The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer (Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom)
Awarded €172 000 from MEDIA distribution
Judi Dench for Philomena
Michael O'Connor for the Invisible Woman
For more information
European Commission: Creative Europe
Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU