Costas Gavras becomes 5th filmmaker to receive EFA Honorary Award

Legendary Greek-French film director Costas Gavras received a lifetime achievement honor at this year’s European Film Awards in Seville.

Receiving the award from the filmmaker Wim Wenders at Seville’s Teatro de la Maestranza on Saturday night, Costa Gavras thanked the EFA for the great honour and said it “was an example of how Europe should be,” with people from different countries, different cultures and different films “accepting one another”.

Europe was currently in a bad state “but here, tonight, we can see that we can all be together…and this is how we must continue,” he said, to a standing ovation from below.

The legendary filmmaker behind MissingZMusic Box and Betrayed, was honored by the European Film Academy at the 31st European Film Awards on Dec. 15 in Seville, Spain.

“With this award the European Film Academy wishes to pay special tribute to an outstanding director and a personality with a strong political voice who is not only deeply respected by his colleagues but also celebrated by audiences worldwide,” the Academy said.

Costas Gavras is just the fifth filmmaker to receive the honor. The previous recipients are Manoel de Oliveira, Michel Piccoli, Michael Caine and Andrzej Wajda.

Born in Greece in 1933, Costa Gavras emigrated to France when he was 22 and has lived and worked there ever since. Among the most successful of a generation of politically active European filmmakers, he has managed to combine controversial political issues with the slick production and commercial approach of mainstream cinema.

During the same awards, the Greek producers Konstantinos Kontovrakis and Giorgos Karnavas, from Heretic, won the EFA Eurimages Co-Production Award, an award acknowledging the decisive role of co-productions in fostering international exchange.

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