“I don’t care at all”: Andrei Konchalovsky on the decision not to send Russian films to the Oscars

Andrei Konchalovsky said that he does not care about the decision of the Film Academy of the Russian Federation not to send films to the Oscars

Andrei Konchalovsky said that he does not care about the decision of the Film Academy of the Russian Federation not to send films to the Oscars

A photo: Ivan MAKEEV

Recently, the Presidium of the Russian Film Academy decided not to send a Russian film to the Oscars. The presentation of the next (for the 95th time) Academy Award will take place only on March 12 next year in Los Angeles. But all countries are already at a low start and nominate their own candidates. In the Russian long list there were paintings: “Off-Season” by Alexander Hunt, “December” by Klim Shipenko, “Nuuccia” by Vladimir Munkuev, “Heart of Parma” by Anton Megerdichev, “First Oscar” by Sergey Mokritsky and others.

And then it became known: none of our Oscars will go. Although the American Film Academy did not refuse the participation of Russian films.

Nevertheless, the Chairman of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation, Nikita Mikhalkov, considered it pointless to send Russian films to the competition in America today.

The decision not to nominate a domestic film for the Oscar nomination was made by the leadership of the Film Academy of the Russian Federation without informing the chairman of the Russian Oscar committee, film director Pavel Chukhrai. Pavel Grigorievich learned this news from journalists.

“This illegal decision was made over the head of the Oscars committee. The members of our independent organization were not only not consulted, they did not even consider it necessary to notify us of such a decision. This is offensive and illegal,” Chukhrai said. And in protest, he left his post as chairman of the Oscar Committee of the Russian Federation, which he held after the death of film director Vladimir Menshov.

We asked Pavel Grigorievich to explain his position. Maybe something else motivated him besides resentment. But Chukhrai did not want to comment, he said that he did not consider it necessary to develop this topic.

It is worth recalling that 25 years ago Pavel Chukhrai’s film “The Thief” was nominated for an Oscar in the category “Best Foreign Film”. In general, dozens of Russian films were nominated for an Oscar.

But only a few received the award. Of the domestic feature films, “The Best Film in a Foreign Language” was in 1969 “War and Peace” by Sergei Bondarchuk, in 1981 – “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears” by Vladimir Menshov, in 1995 – “Burnt by the Sun” by Nikita Mikhalkov. But there were other winners as well. In 1942, the Soviet documentary The Defeat of German Troops near Moscow by Leonid Varlamov and Ilya Kopalin won the Oscar. In 2000, the short animated film “The Old Man and the Sea” by Alexander Petrov.

We called the patriarch of Russian cinema – director Andrei Konchalovsky, who is not only a member of the Russian Film Academy, but three of his films fought for the Oscar (Dear Comrades!, House of Fools and Paradise).

“To be honest, I don’t care if our films will be nominated for an Oscar or not,” Andrey Konchalovsky told KP.RU. – Once upon a time, the Oscar was not only an award. It was the ticket to life. And today is a show. Therefore, it makes no difference whether you get an Oscar or not. Especially it does not matter if you do not live in America. It doesn’t bother me at all. Today there are more important things than the Oscars. Including in Russian cinema.

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