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Six Russian films received Spirit of Fire Awards

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The Sergei Solovyov Golden Taiga Award for the best Russian debut film went to “The Cage is Looking for a Bird”, a debut film by Malika Musayeva. The jury president of the Russian Debut Films Competition, director Alexey Mizgirev presented the Award.

On stage during the Festival closing ceremony, he said that it was always hard to start filming, but if you were led by an experience you had lived through, something that ate you, hurt you, some gnawing truth, or something you adored, then it got a bit easier. You meet a director who becomes your teacher, and producers, too, and finally your debut film gets an award. This was the story of Malika Musayeva. Her film “The Cage is Looking for a Bird” received the Main Award of the Russian Competition Program.

“The Path” by the director Mikhail Kulunakov received the Special Award for Preserving Cultural Traditions from “Gazprom Neft”, the festival general partner. This Altai-language film tells of a quest to find family happiness and of indigenous peoples’ life far away from big cities.

“Over its multi-year track record, “The Spirit of Fire” became the region’s key feature and a landmark event for the entire film community. “Gazprom Neft”, traditionally the festival’s general partner, awards the best Russian film “For Preserving Cultural Traditions”. This is our acknowledgement to directors who address traditional culture and history in their works. The Indigenous Peoples of the World, the overarching theme of this Spirit of Fire, echoes one of the areas of our corporate social investments, the Program on Preserving Cultural Traditions. That said, it is still more valuable for us to give the award in such a category, it is of great importance for all of us”, stressed Sergey Fedorov, Director General of “Gazpromneft-Khantos”.

The Audience Choice Award “Flowers of Taiga Hope” went to “Movie Girls” directed by Maria Loiter. According to Maria, this was her most desirable award. Her film tells about the importance of loving and accepting yourself.

Anton Megerdichev, while presenting the Best Director award, admitted that he would want to have such an award himself. Speaking about the winner film he mentioned that the jury struggled to guess how the film was made as they were watching it. It is a top-class puzzle that one doesn’t want to stop solving.

The Special Award of the Jury for Directing went to “The Niche” by Anton Ermolin.

The Best Music Score Award was presented by the composer, am award winner of the Association of Cinema and TV Producers, the bronze Global Music Awards bearer Ryan Otter. He noted that music is an integral film element and that composing the right kind of music for films is a standalone craft that very few speak about and teach.

Ryan Otter announced the winner of the Silver Rose Award, the film “Vad’d’a. Toll-Houses” by the director Nikita Dobrynin. Receiving the award, Nikita Dobrynin expressed special gratitude to Alexander Sokurov who greatly influenced him. He also mentioned that the film is about from these songs the Votes people. The music for the film was created by analyzing their songs and isolating the tunes.

Pavel Lebeshev Award for the Best Photography from the Cinematographers Guild was presented by a jury member of the Russian Debut Film Competition, the cinematographer, a TEFI winner Elena Ivanova who made specific mention of the winner’s sensuous cinematic language and meticulously calibrated frames. The Award went to Dmitry Nagovskiy for “The Cage is Looking for a Bird” directed by Malika Musayeva.

Next on stage was the actress, TV show host, the Distinguished Artist of Russia Anna Mikhalkova who announced the next winner. Speaking of the Alexander Abdulov Award for the Best Actress in a Russian Debut Film, Anna Mikhalkova called the winning film a truly Shakespearean tragedy. The Award went to Hadija Batayeva for “The Cage is Looking for a Bird” directed by Malika Musyaeva.

Announcing the winner of the Alexander Abdulov Award for the Best Actor in a Russian Debut Film, Anna Mikhalkova noted that this person had brilliantly played the part of a moth. Vladimir Svirskiy from “The Niche” by Anton Ermolin received the Award.

The jury member of the Russian Debut Films Competition, the cinematographer, the winner of the Golden Eagle, Nika and the White Elephant (National Film Critics and Media Award) Sergey Fevralev presented the Certificate of Excellence for the Birth of the Altai Cinema to the film “The Path” directed by Mikhail Kulunakov. Sergey Fevralev stressed that the jury wanted to specially acknowledge this film.

The new information partner of the festival, the Russian social platform YARUS presented its own special Award. Dmitry Ilyukhin, the founder and the development director of the social network, and the YARUS Managing Director Ivan Dobrovolsky gave the Award for professional excellence and Impeccable psychological accuracy in a family drama to “The Knots” directed by Oleg Khamokov. The Award included a certificate for the promotion in the YARUS social network and prize money in the amount of 200,000 rubles.

The Special Mention Diploma of the Work-in-Progress Expert Board went to the “Timir” project (Nikolay Koryakin, DJEGIN FILMS).

The Promising Audience Acclaimed Film Award for the winner of the Work-in-Progress Program went to “The Octopus” (Alexey Stepanov, SoFilm).