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The Spanish musical melodrama Chico and Rita wins the Animated Feature Film from the European Academy.

The musical story between two musicians in pre-Castro Cuba, Chico & Rita (read the review), has won the animated feature film, beating the two French films A cat in Paris (Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli) and Rabbi's Cat (Joann Sfar).

 "Viva Europe!" was the comment of Javier Mariscal, whereas co-director Fernando Trueba (Oscar for Belle Epoque) dedicated this film to the musician Bebo Valdes, whose soundtrack infuses the film. The third director, Tono Errando noticed that it took 6 year to assemble the film, 5000 people and a great pleasure.

The award was presented by Irene Jacob (after a mistaken announcement and presentation of Sylvie Testud). The European Academy Animated Feature Film of 2010 was the Oscar-nominated The Illusionist (Sylvain Chomet).

Although the European Film Awards have no influence on the Oscar voters, it seems that Chico & Rita, who is also in the run for the 2012 Oscars, may solidify its chances for at least a place among the 5 nominees.

Chico & Rita will be released in the US by GKids early 2012.

 

The 24th European Film Awards took place this year in Berlin.