Russian filmmakers criticise government at awards ceremony

Russian filmmakers criticise government at awards ceremony
Still from Collector (2016, dir. Alexey Krasovsky)

3 April 2017

At last week’s Nika Awards — Russia’s domestic equivalent of the Oscars — several winners decided to use their speeches for more than saying thank you, seizing the chance to condemn the Russian authorities’ handling of last Sunday’s anti-corruption rallies.

Tuesday’s ceremony saw director Alexander Sokurov, famed for Faust (2002) and Russian Ark (2011), affirm that the “state is making a mistake” by repressing young people rather than “listening to them”. The filmmaker, who won the Eldar Ryazanov prize for Honour and Dignity, also decried the imprisonment of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2015 for plotting terrorist acts in Crimea.

Director Alexey Krasovsky echoed Sokurov’s sentiment upon collecting the Discovery of the Year award for Collector, urging the Russian film community to defend those arrested during the protests and stressing that “there were more than twice as many [detentions] than there are people in this room”.

In addition, actress Yelena Koreneva used her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress to voice her support for a number of political prisoners, including Sentsov.

The filmmakers’ expressions of support for political prisoners and critical remarks about the government were cut from the awards ceremony broadcast. Excerpts can, however, be found on social media. You can watch them here (in Russian).

Source: The Moscow Times