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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Russian filmmakers have expressed their enthusiasm regarding the proposed initiative to establish an Oscar-style accolade for cinematic achievements in the Eurasian region.

Head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s (ROC) Synodal Department for Relations with Society and the Media, Vladimir Legoyda, says the American film Oscar does not so much assess the artistic merit of the films he reviews respect for the principles of tolerance. He also said that the Eurasian Film Academy, the creation of which was previously announced by director Nikita Mikhalkov, could appear as early as 2024. RTVI found out the opinion of Russian filmmakers on the prospects of an alternative award.

With the initiative to create the Eurasian Film Academy as an Oscar analogue, the head of the Union of Russian Cinematographers, director Nikita Mikhalkov spoke at the first Eurasian Economic Forum in May 2022.

According to him, in recent years, Western states have carried out a “powerful attack on cultural civilization” and the establishment of such a film academy will help protect “Eurasian civilization” from it.

“Participation in this one (the prizes) will be accepted by images that correspond to the ideals that we will formulate, and not by images that destroy the human essence. The price should be expensive, they should fight for it,” he noted.

The prize fund, as the cinematographer said, should be 3-5 million dollars.

Director, screenwriter Alexander Sokurov

I am very far from these half-antique half-pagan premium images, I don’t like all that much, it’s just as far from me as from the moon.

It won’t change anything. If there is no film industry, why create all this? We must first create a film industry, first create a professional atmosphere, develop seriously large film studios. Without it, everything else is a waste of money and rattling on bad fragments

Director, screenwriter Alexei German Jr.

I think in a rapidly fragmenting world, one way or another, it will exist in one form or another. How successful it will be – I don’t know, nobody knows. But in a world moving away from globalization, it is obvious to everyone that such initiatives will be inevitable.

We are one step away from World War III, so the creation of new institutions is inevitable. It can be pleasant or not, it can be pleasant or unpleasant, it can work or not. But the Eurasian Film Academy and the analogue of the Oscars is an inevitable move.

Film critic Valéry Kichin

I think this, like so many other such ventures, is absolutely empty verbiage. Because there is the Oscar, there is the Academy of European Cinema, which includes many Russian filmmakers, and there is the Academy of Asian Cinema, which has just awarded its prizes. They are very reputable and long-lasting institutions.

It is absolutely useless to create new ones, because this whole movement – both festival and premium – in the cinema is clearly in decline, clearly becoming obsolete: this is noticeable at the level of film festivals, at the prices they award , what conflicts and quarrels arise in and around the jury. This can be seen in the awards for the current “Oscar”. All this is not accidental, it suggests that the bonus system really, the further the more it exposes its conventionality, insufficiency, subjectivity and, in general, its randomness.

Therefore, it is absolutely futile to create new events, not to mention the fact that there is no money like the American or European film academy, and, I think, there is no no such creative forces.

(What should replace) nobody knows yet, because the trajectory of cinema in its more than 100 years of existence is very ornate. Because cinema had its golden age, when it became high art, and now there is clearly a decline, when high art turns into attraction, computer shooters and so on, when there is already few people in the cinemas, when the cinema goes online. All of these times are kind of times of transition and, in my opinion, no one now sets out to predict further development.

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