Even Mice Belong in Heaven Even Mice Belong in Heaven

The European Film Academy has announced the animated nominees for the 34th European Film Awards, which will be presented in Berlin, Germany on December 11.

The nominees are:

  • The Ape Star — dir. Linda Hambäck (Sweden/Norway/Denmark)
  • Even Mice Belong in Heaven — dirs. Denisa Grimmová, Jan Bubeníček (Czech Republic/France/Poland/Slovakia)
  • Flee — dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark/France/Sweden/Norway)
  • Where Is Anne Frank — dir. Ari Folman (Belgium/Luxembourg/Israel/Netherlands/France)
  • Wolfwalkers — dirs. Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart (Ireland/Luxembourg/France)

We’ve written about how Flee, the lauded story of an Afghan refugee in Denmark, can be nominated for either animation or documentary categories (as well as international feature awards, where those exist). Well, at the EFAs, the film is having its cake and eating it too: it is nominated for both. There’s a chance this will split its vote, harming its chances of winning either. Flee is also nominated for the European University Film Award, which is voted for by college students.

Cartoon Saloon’s ecological fable Wolfwalkers is a throwback to the last awards season, when it earned plenty of prizes and an Oscar nomination. The other three have kept low profiles so far this season, and have yet to find U.S. distribution.

Where Is Anne Frank is a retelling of the famous Holocaust victim’s story directed by Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir). The Ape Star is a family film about an orphan who forms a friendship with a gorilla; it played in competition at Annecy this year. Even Mice Belong in Heaven is a stop-motion feature, also for young audiences, about a mouse and a fox who meet in animal heaven; it too played at Annecy.

This is the first time five films have been nominated in this category, rather than the customary three or four. Curiously, the rules for this year’s awards state that four films would be nominated.

The EFA winner is voted on by the European Film Academy’s 4,000-odd members. Recent winners in the category include Josep (2020), Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (2019), Another Day of Life (2018), Loving Vincent (2017), My Life as a Courgette (2016), and Song of the Sea (2015).

In the short film category, which combines both animated and live-action films, the sole animated nominee this year is Nicolas Keppens’s Easter Eggs (Belgium/France/Netherlands).

Image at top: “Even Mice Belong in Heaven”