The 22nd European Film Awards in December 2009 will be hosted by the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Essen and not Berlin as generally expected.

This is a change in usual practice as the venue for the awards ceremony has alternated between Berlin and other European cities such as Warsaw, Barcelona, Rome, and Paris in recent years. The 2008 awards will be held in Copenhagen.

The choice of venue was announced by North Rhine-Westphalia's media minister Andreas Krautscheid. The event is set to be held in Germany's largest cinema, the Lichtburg.

The gala ceremony will serve as the kickoff event for Essen's celebrations as European Capital of Culture in 2010.

In 2011, the Estonian capital of Tallinn will host the awards ceremony at the beginning of its own term as European Capital of Culture in 2011.