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20 Apr, 2023 18:57

Oscar winner calls for Russia to boycott Academy Awards

Moscow should focus on creating its own Eurasian alternative instead, Nikita Mikhalkov says
Oscar winner calls for Russia to boycott Academy Awards

There is “no point” in nominating Russian-made movies for Oscars given the current state of the Academy Awards, according to Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov. The current director of the Moscow International Film Festival is himself a past recipient of a statuette.

“We see what gets Oscars nowadays, we see how [the award] has changed. Sending in [films] just to keep hope – I personally do not see any point in doing this,” Mikhalkov said during a media briefing on Thursday. The director did not elaborate which Oscar-winning movies exactly he had in mind.

Mikhalkov, who is one of Russia’s most prominent directors and holds an Oscar and two Golden Lions from the Venice film festival, among other awards, suggested Moscow should focus on creating an alternative to the US-based awards instead. Namely, Russia should spearhead the creation of a Eurasian Academy, the director suggested.

“In a certain sense, it would be a counterbalance to the Oscars. These are the countries of the SCO [Shanghai Co-operation Organization], BRICS. This would be a very expensive award, which would be given every year in different countries,” Mikhalkov stated.

Mikhalkov has long advocated the idea of creating an alternative to the Oscars, with the idea receiving renewed attention amid the ongoing standoff between Russia and the collective West. The director floated the idea during the first Eurasian Economic Forum last May, stating that only films corresponding to “the ideals that we formulate, and not those movies which destroy the very essence of humanity” would be considered.

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