European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has welcomed the major success of European films at last night's 84th Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood. 'The Artist' was crowned with five Oscars and 'The Iron Lady' with two. This year, nine nominated films received support from the European Union's MEDIA programme for cinema.

'The Artist' scooped the big prizes for Best Picture, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Costume Design (Mark Bridges) and Best Music (Ludovic Bource). 'The Iron Lady' collected the statuettes for Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Makeup (Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland).

Commissioner Vassiliou, who attended the premiere of 'The Artist' at the Cannes Film Festival last May, said: "What a great night for the European film industry and the MEDIA programme. My congratulations to 'The Artist' and 'The Iron Lady'. Once again, the European film industry has shown it can compete with the best and come out top."

Full press release