Oscar nominations put ex-Soviet film on the map
By Amie Ferris-Rotman
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Oscar nominations for a Russian and Kazakh film have put the ex-Soviet countries' film industry back on the map, directors and actors said.
Nikita Mikhalkov's "12," Russia's sixth Oscar nomination, and Sergei Bodrov's "Mongol," Kazakhstan's first, will compete against films from Israel, Austria and Poland for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards, being held on February 24.
"I think that for this year's Oscars, many people are seeing the need to honor European art and in particular, Slav cinema," Mikhalkov told reporters at the Golden Eagle Russian film awards late on Friday.
"I hope that people will grow up following and enjoying Russian cinema," said Mikhalkov, who won an Oscar for his 1994 film "Burnt by the sun."
Film stars, veteran directors and politicians gathered for the awards in the pavilions of the Mosfilm studios, where Oscar-winning film "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears" was created as well as most widely acclaimed Soviet films.
Mikhalkov planted a kiss on the cheek of Svetlana Medvedeva, a socialite, supporter of arts and wife of Dmitri Medvedev, set to become the next Russian president at a March 2 election.
The awards opened with an e-mailed message of congratulations from President Vladimir Putin, read by Russia's minister of culture to a packed hall of a thousand people. Continued...