The Chinese Film Academy Award – Documentary Oscar – awarded to a Russian Film Director for the First Time

25/04/2022 16:10

The award ceremony of the Russian laureate of the Chinese Academy of Documentary Cinema – Vyacheslav Krasko for the film "I am Che Guevara. A story told in the first-person" – took place at the Cinema House in Moscow. The event was supported by the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives. Earlier, the award was presented at a ceremony in Beijing at the state level; it was received by the press attaché of the Russian Embassy in China, Georgy Egorov. In China, the award is known and informally called the Oscar in documentary films.

For the first time in 11 years of the award's existence, a Russian director received it. Films of the USA, South Korea, Belarus and Russia competed for the statuette in the nomination "Best Documentary in a foreign language".

"I am Che Guevara. A story told in the first-person narration" is a film about the youth of the legendary commander, an attempt to find the prerequisites for the birth of a fiery revolutionary from an intelligent medical student. The director traveled Che's way through Latin America, met with his childhood friends, his brother, the legendary Chichina – Ernesto's first love.

At a press conference, Vyacheslav Krasko said that he plans to shoot the second part of the film, the starting point of which will be Che Guevara's meeting with Fidel Castro. At the same time, Krasko’s colleague from China, made a proposal to implement a joint Russian-Chinese project on Che Guevara's meeting with Mao Zedong.

The Eurasian people’ Assembly and the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio presented the film for the award.

The First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy in Russia, Ms. Hao Zhoqi presented the award to Vyacheslav Krasko on the stage of the Cinema House. The Diploma of the finalist was presented to him by the Counselor-Envoy of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Russian Federation, Ms. Liu Jinghua. Ms. Liu Jinghua noted the importance of this award presentation to the Russian author for both Russia and China and called this event a step in today's development of comprehensive partnership relations between Russia and China in a new era.

Five more Russian documentaries were selected by the Chinese Film Academy for the shortlist of the award. These are "The Heavenly Crimea" by Sergei Debizhev, "There, in the Distance" by Victoria Fomina, "While We are Alive, we will Live" by Grigory Ilugdin, "Ice Clouds" by Boris Dvorkin and "Russian Gardariki" by Anna Kolodezneva. They were awarded diplomas of finalists.

Sergey Sanakoev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian-Chinese Friendship Society, recalled the words of support of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russia and thanked the directors for their cultural contribution to Russian-Chinese friendship.

President of the Guild of Film Directors of Russia Nikolay Lebedev, director of "Legend No. 17", "Stars", "Crew", congratulating the laureates, noted that he first got acquainted with China through the magic of cinema, and only then personally, visiting the country. Lebedev expressed hope that after the high appreciation of Russian documentary films by Chinese experts, the road to China's acquaintance with Russia through its cultural code will open.

People's Artist of Russia, outstanding film director Vadim Abdrashitov, presenting the finalist diploma to Boris Dvorkin, expressed hope that the attention of Chinese cinematographers to us will not remain unrequited, and will lead to active joint filmmaking in the future.

In 2021, the Academy established the award "For Outstanding Contribution to the Development of International Communications" for the first time. It was awarded to three figures of cinema: British documentary filmmaker Malcolm Clark (four times nominated for an Academy Award and twice won it), producer Vikram Channa from India (known in Russia for his TEDx speech in Japan) and Valery Ruzin - producer, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly a, President of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, a member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation, who made a significant contribution to the promotion of Russian and Chinese documentary films on the international arena.

Valery Ruzin has implemented four joint Russian-Chinese projects: three films and one TV series. He organized eight Russian-Chinese cooperation forums on culture and tourism, which were held in Shanghai, Beijing, Sevastopol, Moscow and Xi'an.

Valery Ruzin has been heading the Vladimir Menshov International Film Festival "Won Together" in Crimea since 2014 and gathers the core of Russian documentaries and reputable foreign directors from more than 40 countries around the world.

In the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, Valery Ruzin works on the development of international communications in the preservation of historical memory.

The Moscow award ceremony was conducted by the poet, TV and radio presenter Egor Serov.