December 7, 2008 / 6:49 AM / in 9 years

Italy mob drama "Gomorra" rules Europe film awards

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The Italian mafia drama “Gomorra” dominated the European Film Awards on Saturday, winning five prizes including best film, best director and best actor.

<p>Italian director Matteo Garrone (2nd R) poses with cast members from (L-R) Gianfelice Imparato, Maria Nazionale and Toni Servillo during a photocall for the film "Gomorra" at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 18, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

Based on a book by Roberto Saviano, who has lived under police protection for two years because of death threats from gangsters, the hard-hitting film depicts organized crime in Naples. It also won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year.

The 1,800-member European Film Academy awarded Matteo Garonne the director prize for “Gomorra” at the 21st anniversary ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The six writers of “Gomorra,” Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, Gianni di Gregorio, Massimo Gaudioso, Garrone and Saviano received the screenwriter award.

Toni Servillo won the actor award for his roles in “Gomorra” and in “Il Divo,” where he played former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.

Marco Onorato was selected best cinematographer for his work on “Gomorra.”

Britain’s Kristin Scott Thomas won the actress award for her performance in “I’ve Loved You So Long.”

Honorary awards were presented to British actress Judi Dench and the founders of the Dogma film movement, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen, Kristian Levring, Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg of Denmark.

The European Film Academy was founded in 1989 to promote European film, with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman as its first president

Although respected in the film industry, the awards have yet to gain the prestige of high-profile European film festivals in Cannes, Venice and Berlin.

The ceremony was only broadcast live on Danish public television and on the satellite channels ZDF and Arte, but will be shown recorded in more than 40 countries.

The awards are traditionally held in Berlin every other year, but next year they will take place in Essen.

Editing by Matthew Jones

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