Danish film darling Lars von Trier's Melancholia has seven nominations for this year's European Film Awards, including for best European film.
The other five nominees for the top prize are Michel Haznavicius's The Artist, the Dardenne brothers' The Kid with a Bike, Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, Aki Kaurismaki's Le Havre and Susanne Bier's In a Better World. Each has four nominations.
All six frontrunners have already made a mark internationally. The Kid with a Bike and Le Havre, for example, won the grand jury prize and FIPRESCI prize at Cannes, respectively, and In a Better World, won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for best foreign language film – and an Italian Golden Globe for best European film. The King's Speech has more than 50 awards from throughout the world including the best film Oscar and BAFTA. One of its three producers, Emile Sherman, is Australian.
All six films could win the writing and directing categories, with the exception of The Artist, which saw Michel Hazanavicius nominated for direction but not writing, and The King's Speech, which isn't nominated for either. The only outsider in these two categories is Béla Tarr, who has a nomination for her direction of The Turin Horse.
Several other films get a look in via other categories too: Tilda Swinton is nominated for her performance in We Need to Talk about Kevin, Nadezhda Markina for Elena and Michel Piccoli in Habemus Papam. They are up against actors from one of the six leading films.
Both Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia) and Jean Dujardin (The Artist) have already been honoured for their performances at Cannes. Dujardin plays Hollywood silent movie star George Valentin, who is worried about surviving beyond the arrival of the talkies.
Charlotte Gainsborough is also nominated for Melancholia and plays the sister of Dunst's character Justine, whose wedding takes place around the time Earth and another planet are expected to collide. Cécile de France, the fifth nominee in the category for actresses, plays the hairdresser who fosters a young abandoned boy on weekends in The Kid with a Bike.
The other nominated male actors are Colin Frith, who plays King George VI of Britain in The King's Speech, but just before he ascends to the throne; Michael Persbrandt, the Danish doctor working in an African refugee camp in In a Better World; and André Wilms, whose character befriends an illegal immigrant from Africa in the French port city of Le Havre.
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (Pusher) was honoured last month with the honorary award of European Achievement in World Cinema.
The 24th European Film Awards will take place in Berlin on December 3. They are run by the European Film Academy, which has its secretariat in Berlin. This is the first time the ceremony will be held back in Berlin since 2007.
The nominees are:
European Film 2011
Writer/director Michel Hazanavicius, producers Thomas Langmann, Emmanuel Montamat
The Kid with a Bike (Le Gamin Au Velo)
Writer/directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, producers Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd, Andrea Occhipinti
In a Better World (Hævnen)
Director Susanne Bier, writer Anders Thomas Jensen, producer Sisse Graum Jørgensen
The King's Speech
Director Tom Hooper, writer David Seidler, producers Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
Writer/director Aki Kaurismäki, producers Aki Kaurismäki, Fabienne Vonier, Reinhard Brundig
Writer/director Lars von Trier, producers Meta Louise Foldager, Louise Vesth
European Director 2011
Susanne Bier, In a Better World
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, The Kid with a Bike
Aki Kaurismäki, Le Havre
Béla Tarr, The Turin Horse (A Torinoi Lo)
Lars von Trier, Melancholia
European ACTRESS 2011
Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
Cécile De France, The Kid with a Bike
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melancholia
Nadezhda Markina, Elena
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
European Actor 2011
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Mikael Persbrandt, In A Better World
Michel Piccoli, Habemus Papam
André Wilms, Le Havre
European Screenwriter 2011
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, The Kid With A Bike
Anders Thomas Jensen, In A Better World
Aki Kaurismäki, Le Havre
Lars Von Trier, Melancholia
Carlo Di Palma European Cinematographer Award 2011
Manuel Alberto Claro, Melancholia
Fred Kelemen, The Turin Horse
Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist
Adam Sikora, Essential Killing
European Editor 2011
Tariq Anwar, The King's Speech
Mathilde Bonnefoy, Three
Molly Malene Stensgaard, Melancholia
European Production Designer 2011
Paola Bizzarri, Habemus Papam
Antxón Gómez, The Skin I Live In
Jette Lehmann, Melancholia
European Composer 2011
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Alexandre Desplat, The King's Speech
Alberto Iglesias, The Skin I Live In
Mihály Vig, The Turin Horse
European Discovery 2011 -- Prix FIPRESCI
Oxygen (Adem), Belgium/The Netherlands, writer/director Hans Van Nuffel
Breathing (Atmen), Austria, Karl Markovics
Michael, Austria, Markus Schleinzer
Nothing's All Bad (Smukke menesker), Denmark, Mikkel Munch-Fals
Tilva roš, Serbia, Nikola LeÅ¾aiÄ‡
European Film Academy Documentary 2011 – Prix ARTE
Writer/director Wim Wenders, producers Gian-Piero Ringel, Wim Wenders
Position Among the Stars (Stand van de Sterren)
Director Leonard Retel Helmrich, writers Leonard Retel Helmrich, Hetty Naaijkens, producer Hetty Naaijkens
¡Vivan las Antipodas!
Writer/director Victor Kossakovsky, producer Heino Deckert
European Film Academy Animated Feature Film 2011
The Rabbi's Cat (Le Chat du Rabbin)
Directors Antoine Delesvaux, Joann Sfar
Chico & Rita
Spain/Isle of Man
Directors Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal, Fernando Trueba
A Cat in Paris (Une Vie de Chat)
France/Belgium, directors Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol