Geoffrey Enthoven’s Come As You Are (aka Hasta la vista) has won the People’s Choice Award at the 25th edition of the European Film Awards in Malta. Written by Pierre De Clercq and produced by Mariano Vanhoof, the film outran no less than 11 European heavyweights such as The Artist, Untouchable and The Iron Lady. Film lovers from all over Europe chose the winner of the People’s Choice Award.

Come As You Are at the EFA AwardsFrom 1 to 31 October, European film fans were asked to elect one of the 12 films nominated for EFA’s People’s Choice Award via various European print and online media. Votes could be cast via the website of the European Film Awards, while Ernst & Young supervised the entire voting process. Only festival favourites with several successful European theatrical releases on its tab were eligible for a nomination for the award. Beside Come As You Are, this year’s nominees were The Artist, Barbara, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Caesar Must Die, Headhunters, In Darkness, Untouchable, The Iron Lady, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Shame and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Previous winners of the People’s Choice Award include a.o. La vita è bella (Roberto Benigni), Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (Jean-Pierre Jeunet), Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle), The King's Speech (Tom Hooper), Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier) and Todo sobre mi madre (Pedro Almodóvar).

Last year, Hans Van Nuffel’s feature film debut Oxygen already grabbed the European Film Award for Discovery of the Year, making it the second award-winning year on a row for Belgian Cinema from Flanders.

After its world première at the 2011 Montréal World Film Festival, Come As You Are soon turned out to be a true audience favourite. The film managed to gather more than 20 awards at numerous international festivals including several audience awards, among others in Montreal, Karlovy Vary, Alpe D’huez and Leeuwarden. Winning the People’s Choice Award now brings Come As You Are’s exceptional festival career to a beautiful close.

Not only audiences warmed to Geoffey Enthovens feature, but international film critics and professionals as well. Only last summer, America’s leading entertainment trade journal Variety praised Enthoven as one of its ‘Ten Euro Directors to Watch’. Come As You Are has been released theatrically in France, Germany and Spain among others and has already been sold to about 30 territories.

The film tells the story of three guys in their twenties who love wine and women. The first they have savoured abundantly, but they have never had a woman. Under the guise of a wine tour they embark on a journey to Spain hoping to get laid there. Nothing will stop them. Not even their handicaps: one is blind, the other is confined to a wheelchair and the third is completely paralyzed. Robrecht Vanden Thoren, Gilles De Schryver, Tom Audenaert and Isabelle De Hertogh take principal roles.  Stijn Meuris and Papermouth composed the film’s soundtrack. Come As You Are was made possible with the support of the VAF/Film Fund.

Published on Saturday 1 December 2012

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