Mirren wins best actress at European Film Awards

Sun Dec 2, 2007 10:06pm EST
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By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - Oscar winner Helen Mirren won another award Saturday for her performance as Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears' "The Queen," taking the best actress crown at the 2007 European Film Awards.

Another celebrated film, Romania's "4 months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," was picked best film by the 1,800-member European Academy at the 20th anniversary ceremony -- held at its home city in Berlin in odd years and in different European cities in even years.

Director Cristian Mungiu's film about two student friends ruthlessly exploited when one goes to have an illegal abortion had already won Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Sasson Gabai of Israel was selected as best actor for his performance in "The Band's Visit," a comedy about a small Egyptian police band lost in Israel.

The People's Choice Award went to Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore's "La Sconosciuta" (The Unknown). German-Turkish director Fatih Akin collected the best screenwriter prize for "The Edge of Heaven."

The European Film Prize has yet to gain the prestige of high-profile European film festivals in Cannes, Venice and Berlin but the awards are widely respected in the film industry.

Next year the ceremony will be held in Copenhagen.


<p>File photo shows actress Helen Mirren posing at the 16th annual BAFTA/LA Cunard Britannia awards in Los Angeles November 1, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>