Cold War director wins EFA People's Choice Award in Berlin

HAYOUNG JEON/PAP/EPA

Polish film director Paweł Pawlikowski on Saturday won the People's Choice Award 2019 for his film Cold War at the 32nd European Film Awards (EFA) in Berlin.

During his acceptance speech at the awards gala in the German capital on Saturday evening Pawlikowski thanked the Cold War actors and the distributors of the film.

Cold War follows the story of two mismatched lovers of different temperaments and backgrounds, whose complex and nigh-on impossible relationship is written in destiny. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War in 1950s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, the story revolves around a tour by the popular Polish folk music and dance ensemble Mazowsze, which was originally founded by the Ministry of Culture of the Polish post-war communist government in 1948.

Released in 2018 the film has received many awards, including the Golden Lions award for Best Film at the 43rd Festival of Polish Feature Films in Gdynia. Pawlikowski also won the Best Director Award at the 2018 Cannes International Film Festival and Cold War was named Best European Film at Spain's Goya Awards in 2019. The film was also Oscar-nominated in three categories of the 2019 Academy Awards.

In 2014 Pawlikowski's previous film Ida won five statuettes, including for Best Film and Best Director, at the 27th European Film Awards in Berlin.

Other Polish film nominated for awards in this year's festival were Clergy (dir. Wojciech Smarzowski), Agnieszka Holland's Citizen Jones and Werewolf directed by Adrian Panek.

First held in 1988, when Poland's Krzysztof Kieslowski won the Best Film Award for A Short Film About Killing, the European Film Awards are considered to be the European equivalent of the American Oscars.