'Ida' Wins Best Picture, People's Choice at European Film Awards

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European director and screenwriter Pawel Pawlikowski and screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewitcz pose with trophies for best movie 'Ida' after the European film award ceremony in Riga December 13, 2014.Credit: Reuters

Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski’s "Ida", a drama about a young novitiate nun who discovers her parents were Jewish and perished in the Holocaust, dominated the European Film Awards on Saturday, winning five prizes, including best film, best director and people’s choice.

"Ida" also won the Special Presentations award at 2013 Toronto film festival. It has been nominated for the best foreign language film at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards and for the foreign-language Academy Award.

Pawlikowski is best known for the British films "Last Resort" and "My Summer of Love", both of which won BAFTAs.

"It was fantastic night for us and also it has been a great year for Poland. We won in volleyball, we beat Germany in football, first time in 80 years, and tonight -- crowning glory," Pawlikowski said as he received the award for the best film.

The annual awards, held this year in the Latvian capital of Riga, also honored the British director Steve McQueen, who got an award for European achievement in world cinema. With only three feature films - "Hunger", "Shame" and the most recent "12 Years A Slave", which won an Oscar earlier this year as Best Picture, McQueen has become legendary, said director Wim Wenders, who presented the award.

The French film director Agnès Varda was given a lifetime achievement award.

The awards were voted on by more than 3,000 members of the European Film Academy.

Following is a list of the main winners:

Best film - Ida
Best director - Pawel Pawlikowski/Ida
Best actress - Marion Cotillard/Two days, One night
Best actor - Timothy Spall/ Mr. Turner
Best Comedy - The Mafia Only Kills in the Summer
Best screenwriter - Pawel Pawlikowski and Rebecca Lenkiewicz/Ida
Best cinematographer - Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski/Ida
Best editor - Justine Wright/Locke
Best production designer - Claus-Rudolf Amler/ The Dark Valley
Best composer - Mica Levi/Under the Skin
European discovery - The Tribe
Best documentary - Master of the Universe
Best animated feature - The Art of Hapiness
Best short film - The Chicken
Lifetime achievement award - Agnès Varda, director
Achievement in world cinema - Steve McQueen, director
People's choice - Ida