Sorrentino scoops three awards for ‘Youth’

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino scooped three awards for his latest film, 'Youth', at the European Film Awards in Berlin on Sunday night.

Sorrentino scoops three awards for 'Youth'
Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' won three prizes at the European Film Awards. Photo: EFA/API/Michael Tinnefeld

The film took top prize, while Sorrentino made off with the gong for Best Director.

Michael Caine also won the Best Actor award for his role in the film.

Sorrentino described the film as “a small film about the perception of freedom” which made it “a film more timely than ever in Europe.”

This is the second time in three years that a Sorrentino feature has taken the 'Best Film' prize at the awards, which have been dubbed the 'European Oscars'.

The Neapolitan director's 'The Great Beauty' won the prize two years ago and went on to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2013.

All of which bodes well for Sorrentino in the run up to the next Academy Awards, which will take place on February 28th.

'Youth' is Sorrentino's second English language film after 2011's 'This Must Be The Place', starring Sean Penn.

The film stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel as two elderly friends who reflect on their lives while spending time at a health spa in the Swiss Alps. 

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PHOTOS: Double takes in Rome as John Malkovich plays pope

Dressed in white robes and other papal insignia, actor John Malkovich delighted throngs on Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican City on Thursday as he filmed a scene for Paulo Sorrentino's The New Pope series.

PHOTOS: Double takes in Rome as John Malkovich plays pope
Is the pope? No, it's The New Pope. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Pilgrims did a double take as the bearded “pontiff” strode around, the 65-year-old going as far as to greet babies proffered for his “blessing”.

After the major success of Sorrentino's The Young Pope series, starring Jude Law, the Italian director has returned with a follow-up drama with American Malkovich as Pope John Paul III.

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The actor rode on board a black popemobile rather than the usual white variant and bodyguards were on hand just in case the enthusiasm of yellow rose-waving bystanders ever got out of hand as he left the vehicle to acknowledge them.

As well as spying Malkovich, onlookers also got to see the escort of visiting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite along the famed Via della Conciliazione en route to a reception with Pope Francis.

But it appeared it was the actor who got top billing as he was put through his paces for the eight-part series — a collaboration between Sky, HBO and Canal+.

Law played an ultra-conservative and machiavellian Pope Pius XIII in The Young Pope, a well-received ten-part series.

All photos by Vincenzo Pinto for AFP.