Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman’s acclaimed animation/hybrid feature The Congress picked up the Best Animated Feature prize at this weekend’s European Film Awards. Accepting the prize, Folman (Waltz with Bashir) noted that the pic was a true European co-production, with the animation done by hundreds of animators in nine European countries. The other films nominated in this category were Alain Ughetto’s Jasmine (France) and Enzo d’Alo’s Pinocchio (Italy). Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) was the winner of the best live-action feature prize.
Drafthouse Films and Films We Like have co-acquired North American rights to the Folman’s pic, which stars Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm and Paul Giamatti. The Congress opened the Cannes Director’s Fortnight sidebar this year and will hit theaters and VOD in 2014.
Folman’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2088 feature Waltz with Bashir, is loosely based on Stanislaw Lem’s science-fiction novel The Futurological Congress. The plot centers on a middle-aged actress played by Robin Wright, who agrees to take part in a revolutionary experiment to create a digital replica of herself (albeit a younger one) to take over her career. The catch is that the real Wright can never act again.
UPDATE: In related awards season news, GKIDS’ Ernest and Celestine picked up the Best Animated Feature award from the L.A. Film Critics, while Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises was voted the Best Animated Feature by the Boston Critics group on Sunday. The Wind Rises also won the National Board of Review’s top honor for Best Animated Film of 2013 earlier.
Here is the film’s trailer: