from the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, for the 33rd European Film Awards
Welcome to the 33rd European Film Awards ceremony! The format is a novelty this year, since the European Film Academy (EFA) is presenting the awards in an online ceremony at Berlin’s Futurium this time. I am delighted that the organizers have managed to find a way to hold the European Film Awards in 2020 despite the difficult circumstances created by the pandemic.
The film sector is of paramount importance to the Berlin-Brandenburg region. We see that not only in the successful film festivals that make an international splash each year, but also in the steady influx of young filmmakers who are making Berlin the centre of their activity.
This is an extraordinary year for the European Film Awards for another reason, however, since two indisputable trailblazers of the awards are taking leave of the EFA: Marion Döring, the director of the EFA since 1996 and the producer of the European Film Awards since 2004, and Wim Wenders, a founding member of the EFA and its president since 1996. My sincere thanks go to both of them for their decades of commitment to this institution. Their work helped make the European Film Award a prestigious honour for the recipients. The awards are a highly effective means to promote European cinema and enable filmmakers to create networks that transcend borders, while also bringing the European idea to life. Berlin and the film industry owe both of them a profound debt of gratitude, and I hope very much that we will soon be able to give them a proper send-off.
I would also like to thank everyone who made it possible to hold the European Film Awards ceremony this year under these challenging conditions and to wish the audience a wonderful time watching at home.