Russia’s filmmaker Andrei Zvyagintsev has received the Golden Eagle Award of the Russian Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for his film Elena, which was named the best film of the year. Zvyagintsev was also honored with a Golden Eagle merit award for best directing.
In May last year, Elena, Zvyagintsev’s latest film, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section. Throughout the year, the film was named the best at a variety of international festivals all over the world. In Russia, Elena was recognised as Best Picture by the Guild of Film Critics. Having been nominated for 10 Golden Eagle Awards, the film’s creators walked off with three. Elena is based on a fairly common story: a wife kills her old but wealthy husband for money. Although devoid of passion or any special effects, the film is permeated with a particular magic which has a mesmerizing effect on both the audience and professionals. The director, who took part in writing the script, wants to convey to the public the extent to which moral degradation has permeated contemporary society. Andrei Zvyagintsev says that he personally was slow to notice this change in society.
"Society has undergone change over the past 20 years and we’ve all been witnesses to this change. Many of our acquaintances and friends have changed beyond recognition. Elena exposes and dissects this change. It has become common for us to commit an unseemly act. But we used to be different. Humanistic ideas have been tapering to the limit, both in Russia and elsewhere."
A Golden Eagle Award also went to The Three Bogatyrs and Shamakhansky Tsaritsa, a cartoon by Sergei Glezin. Commenting on the cartoon-making process, the director said that cartoons are funny when you see the end product but the filmmaking process is hard work. The Three Bogatyrs, based on a number of Russian fairytales, reached the number one spot on the Best Cartoon charts across Russia and was named the 2011 box-office hit. Karen Shakhnazarov, President of the Mosfilm Studios, told a Voice of Russia correspondent that it was little wonder that animated cartoons were becoming more and more popular.
"Children like cartoons, they like going to the cinema, and their parents go with them. Cartoons have much more potential than feature films. It’s no wonder they are gaining more and more popularity."
The majority of film lovers prefer watching movies at home. This explains the growing popularity of various TV series. The Golden Eagle for the Best TV Series went to Dostoyevsky, which talks about one of the greatest Russian authors whose books continue to captivate readers' interest 140 years after his death. Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, which won multiple Academy awards, has been named the best foreign language film in Russia. ...