Romanian cinema was the big winner at this year's 20th edition of the European Film Award when director Cristian Mungiu picked up the honours for European Film 2007 and European Director 2007 for his Palme D'Or-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.
Accepting his award, Mungiu called for continuing support for the diversity of production for independent cinema in Europe.
The awards ceremony before 1,400 guests at Berlin's Arena saw the Israeli film The Band's Visit, which has been picking up audience awards at several international film festivals since its premiere in Cannes, receive the European Actor 2007 prize for Sasson Gabai and European Discovery 2007 for feature debutant Eran Kolirin.
Helen Mirren added another statuette - as European Actress 2007 - to her long line of awards for her performance in Stephen Frears's The Queen and Alexandre Desplat's score earned him the European Composer 2007 honours.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the European Film Awards and the European Film Academy (EFA), 10 of the original founding members present on Saturday evening - Henning Carlsen, Jorn Donner, Peter Lilienthal, Jiri Menzel, Jeanne Moreau, Lord David Puttnam, David Rose, Istvan Szabo, Krzysztof Zanussi, Manoel de Oliveira (described by Wenders at 99 years as the oldest working director 'on the planet, in the universe') - were presented with an engraved stone from the beach of the late Ingmar Bergman's island of Faro.
After much anticipation about his appearance Jean-Luc Godard chose to forgo the honour of being feted by his peers by coming to Berlin for the European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
EFA president Wim Wenders was visibly disappointed about the no-show, declaring that it had been 'no coincidence' that the Academy members had wanted to honour Godard, but the 76-year-old director had 'chosen not to be with us tonight' and 'changed his mind for a complexity of reasons'.
In an interview on the eve of the awards, Godard had said 'I say at the same time thank you and No, thank you. When someone says I have created a life's work, I have to accept this. But it is my way of criticism not to go there. I don't have the impression that I have made a career. In French, the word also means quarry and in this sense I can accept it.'
As with previous year's ceremonies, the 20th edition was not spared its occasional organisational hiccup: actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta announced the winner of the European Actor 2007 before the nominations had appeared on screen.
And presenter Jan Josef Liefers rather untactfully belittled the importance of European Union Commissioner Vivian Reding in his introduction of her before she came on stage with the French actor-director Jean-Marc Barr to announce the winner of the European Director award.
Meanwhile, many guests were at a loss to understand the antics of DoP Christopher Doyle - some thought he was an outside intruder who had passed security - when he took over proceedings in his inimitable style for the presentation of the European Achievement in World Cinema 2007 - Prix Screen International.
The winner - Germany's Michael Ballhaus - was, needless to say, the complete contrast. He said that the honour was 'totally unexpected' and added that if this award gave the impression that he had stopped working, 'don't get your hopes up - I'm not done yet.'
Marion Doering, director of the European Film Academy, used the occasion to announce that the host cities for the next three years are already in place: the European Film Awards will travel for the first time to Scandinavia with the staging in Copenhagen next year, with Berlin again in 2009, and then the Estonian capital of Tallinn becoming the second Eastern European city - after last year's Warsaw - to host the event in 2010. The full list of award winners are:
EUROPEAN FILM 2007: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, directed by Cristian Mungiu
EUROPEAN DIRECTOR 2007 - Cristian Mungiu for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
EUROPEAN ACTOR 2007 - Sasson Gabai in The Band's Visit
EUROPEAN ACTRESS 2007 - Helen Mirren in The Queen
EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER 2007 - Fatih Akin for The Edge of Heaven
EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER 2007 - Frank Griebe for Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY PRIX D'EXCELLENCE 2007 - Uli Hanisch for Production Design on Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2007 - Alexandre Desplat for The Queen
EUROPEAN DISCOVERY 2007 - The Band's Visit by Eran Kolirin, Israel
EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY DOCUMENTARY 2007 - Prix ARTE - Paper Cannot Wrap up Embers by Rithy Panh, France
EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY SHORT FILM 2007 - Prix UIP - Alumbramiento by Eduardo Chapero-Jackson, Spain
THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD 2007 - La Sconosciuta by Giuseppe Tornatore
EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY CRITICS AWARD 2007 - Prix FIPRESCI - Coeurs by Alain Resnais
EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - Jean-Luc Godard
EUROPEAN ACHIEVEMENT IN WORLD CINEMA 2007 - Prix Screen International - Michael Ballhaus
PRIX EURIMAGES - Margaret Menegoz and Dr. Veit Heiduschka
HONORARY AWARD on the occasion of the 20th European Film Awards - Manoel de Oliveira