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Sandra Hüller (left) with director Justine Triet

Photo: Christoph Soeder / dpa

German actress Sandra Hüller, who has been nominated twice for Best Actress, has won the European Film Award for her role in the drama »Anatomy of a Case«. The film, starring 45-year-old Hüller, also won other awards.

French filmmaker Justine Triet won for best director of the legal thriller, which tells the story of a successful writer suspected of murder. The awards for best film and best screenplay also went to »Anatomy of a Case«. Triet co-wrote the script with Arthur Harari, who joined via video. In the category "Best Director", Triet prevailed over Agnieszka Holland ("Green Border"), Matteo Garrone ("Io capitano"), Jonathan Glazer ("The Zone of Interest") and Aki Kaurismäki ("Falling Leaves").

Hüller calls for seconds of silence

In her acceptance speech, Sandra Hüller, who lives in Leipzig, called on the audience to observe seconds of silence for peace in the world. The hall then fell very quiet. In addition to »Anatomy of a Case«, Hüller was also nominated for the drama »The Zone of Interest« about the family of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss.

The actress, who was born in Suhl, Thuringia, had already received the trophy for best actress in 2016 for the tragicomedy »Toni Erdmann«. Critics believe she has a good chance of winning the big film awards season in the USA – for example, for the Oscar. And at the beginning of September, the industry magazine »The Hollywood Reporter« even asked the question: »Sandra Hüller, actress of the year?«

Mads Mikkelsen is best actor

The award for best actor went to Denmark's Mads Mikkelsen. The 58-year-old received the award for his role in the film »Bastarden« by Nikolaj Arcel. In it, Mikkelsen plays the soldier Ludvig Kahlen, who wants to make the heath of Jutland fertile for the Danish king. He hopes to gain wealth and honour from this, but has to fight against fierce resistance.

Mikkelsen, who was connected via video, prevailed against German actor Christian Friedel ("The Zone of Interest") and his Austrian colleague Thomas Schubert ("Red Sky"), among others.

The European Film Award is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the industry. The approximately 4600 members of the European Film Academy were able to vote for the winners in a number of categories, similar to the Oscars in the USA. Around 1000 guests attended the gala in Berlin, which lasted several hours.