Throughout the evening, a series of European filmmakers were interviewed in omnibus clips about the reality of filmmaking in today's world.
Kicking it off, Italian actor Kim Rossi Stuart presented the European Co-Production Award 2012 - Prix EURIMAGES to the Swedish producer Helena Danielsson.
The Russian actor Grigory Dobrygin introduced the 14 nominated short films and presented the award to SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN OR BATMAN from Romania. The director Tudor Giurgiu said he only wished that the Romanian government would be more sensible.
A special tribute clip highlighted some of the most emotional moments from 25 EFA years.
Next was the Italian actress Caterina Murino who first presented European Animated Feature Film to the Czech-German-Slovak co-production LOIS NEBEL. The director Tomáš Luňák exclaimed: "It's a shock!" The award European Discovery - Prix FIPRESCI went to KAUWBOY from the Netherlands. Director Boudewijn Koole thanked his colleagues, wife and children and said that the statuette was little but important.
The Bosnian director Danis Tanovic then presented the nominees for European Screenwriter and presented the award to Tobias Lindholm & Thomas Vinterberg for THE HUNT. European Documentary went to the Swiss film WINTER NOMADS. The director Manuel von Stürler recalled being worried about the amount of sheep in his film and how a bored audience would begin to count them and fall asleep. The award, he said, assured him that he did right.
The Russian director Alexei Popogrebsky came onstage to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Yelena Lydia Mironova, better known as Dame Helen Mirren. Laudator Sir Michael Gambon recalled how she killed him in the film THE COOK, THE THIEF AND HER LOVER. Dame Helen recalled watching Antonioni's THE ADVENTURE in a smelly little cinema and how that "transformed the landscape of what cinema can do" for her.
After a performance by Maltese band Brikkuni.
Irish director Jim Sheridan presented the cinematography award to Sean Bobbitt for SHAME and the award European Composer to Alberto Iglesias for TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY.
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen introduced the nominations for European Director and presented the award to Michael Haneke for AMOUR. Speaking in German, the Austrian director stressed the importance of language as part of the identity.
Next was Maltese actress Marama Corlett and her Danish colleague Thure Lindhardt. Together they presented the award European Editor 2012 to Joe Walker for SHAME and European production Designer 2012 to Maria Djurkovic for TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY.
Spanish actor Sergi Lopez announced the winner of this year's People's Choice Award, HASTA LA VISTA by by Geoffrey Enthoven. The producer used his time on stage to propose to his surprised fiancée (she accepted).
Polish actor Maciej Stuhr then presented the nominated actors, meanwhile asking Mads Mikkelsen to marry him, and announced Jean-Louis Trintignat as the winner in AMOUR.
Dutch actress Carice van Houten presented the nominated actresses. Emmanuelle Riva in AMOUR
Spanish actress Marisa Paredes and EFA President Wim Wenders presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Bernardo Bertolucci. To standing ovations, the Italian director exclaimed "Grazie! Grazie di cuore!" and recalled being on stage for the first EFAs in 1988, next to Ingmar Bergman.
Host Anke Engelke had prepared amusing 90-second impressions of the films nominated for European Film 2012 which were shown throughout the evening. Presenting the award, the final one, were French actress Amira Casar and Spanish director Carlos Saura. The award went to AMOUR by Michael Haneke, winning the film a total of four awards.