Controversial director Lars von Trier's apocalyptic drama Melancholia leads all films at the 2011 European Film Awards, where it will compete for the top prize with Michel Hazanavicius's black-and-white silent film The Artist, the Dardenne brothers' The Kid With a Bike, Aki Kaurismaki''s Le Havre and two past Oscar winners, Susanne Bier's Best Foreign-Language Film winner In a Better World and Tom Hooper's Best Picture champ The King's Speech.

In nominations announced on Saturday, Bier, the Dardennes, Kaurismaki, von Trier and Bela Tarr (The Turin Horse) were named contenders in the European Director category, while acting nominees included Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg for Melancholia, Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin, Jean Dujardin for The Artist and Colin Firth for The King's Speech.

Overall, Melancholia dominated the nominations, with eight nominations in the nine announced categories. Five films tied for the second-most nods, with four each: The Artist, The Kid With a Bike, In a Better World, The King's Speech and Le Havre.

The 24th European Film Awards will take place in Berlin on December 2, 2011. The awards are chosen by the European Film Academy, which has more than 2,500 members across Europe.

Past winners include Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon, Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's The Lives of Others and Pedro Almodovar's Talk to Her.