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Wednesday, 8 November, 2000, 12:01 GMT
Billy aims to conquer Europe
Julie Walters and Jamie Bell
Billy Elliot has had an award-winning year
British box-office hit Billy Elliot has been shortlisted for three prizes at this year's European Film of the Year Awards.

The tale of the miner's son who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer picked up nominations for three awards including Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress.

Also nominated in the Best Film category was the British animation hit, Chicken Run which parodies the Steve McQueen classic, The Great Escape.

It is the first feature film from Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animations.

The inclusion of box office hits like Chicken Run in the Best Film category reflects the European Film Academy's determination to broaden the popular appeal of the awards.

European stars

The European Film Awards, to be announced at the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris on 2 December, traditionally celebrate arthouse filmmaking in Europe.

This year the seven shortlisted films include Cannes winner Dancer in the Dark, French comedy Harry, He's Here to Help and the intense drama Faithless from the Swedish director Liv Ullmann.

Bjork
Bjork won praise for her role in Dancer in the Dark

Popstar Bjork, who won Best Actress at Cannes for her role in Lars Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark, faces stiff competition from Britiain's Julie Walters in the Best Actress category.

Fifteen-year-old Jamie Bell, who won best newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards for his performance in Billy Elliot, is up against a string of European stars.

They including the Catalan actor Sergi Lopez, star of Harry, He's Here to Help and A Pornographic Affair.

Bell, who comes from Cleveland, was cast in the lead role of Billy Elliot after an exhaustive search that involved auditioning over 2,000 boys.

His striking portrayal as both dancer and actor has marked him out as a name to watch for the future.

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See also:

02 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Billy's box office leap
25 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Honours fall at Billy's feet
16 Sep 00 | Entertainment
High hopes for Billy
03 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Chicken Run rules cinema roost
21 May 00 | Entertainment
Dancer's surprise win at Cannes
08 Nov 00 | Entertainment
EFA nominations in full
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