MOSCOW: The Secret of a Leader (Kazakhstan) directed by Farkhat Sharipov took home the Golden George for Best Film at the 41st Moscow International Film Festival, but there was no doubt that the star event of the festival was the gala screening of Ralph Fiennes’s Nureyev biopic White Crow with the director in attendance.
Fiennes was awarded the most prestigious prize the festival has to offer, the Special Prize for Outstanding Achievement in the Career of Acting and Devotion to the Principles of the Stanislavsky School, which was awarded to the actor/director by MIFF helmer Nikita Mikhalkov.
Latvian director Dāvis Sīmanis, whose film The Mover / Tevs Nakts produced by Mistrus Media screened in the main competition, was in Moscow to present the film. Set in Riga against the backdrop of WWII, the film is about a Latvian worker who shelters Jews during the German occupation. Sīmanis told FNE "The film is really about our times as much as the past because it asks a relevant question whether we would have the courage today to take such a decision. Thankfully we are not being tested in these times but when we look at the courage the hero showed, we have to ask ourselves if in similar circumstances we would do the same."
MIFF took place from 8-25 April making it look like the move from its traditional June slot to April is now a permanent fixture on the festival calendar. Korean director Kim Di-Duk helmed the jury.
Golden George for Best FilmThe Secret of a Leader (Kazakhstan)Directed by Farkhat Sharipov
Special Jury Prize Silver GeorgeIn Search of Echo / Haiyang Dongwu (China)Directed by Zhang Chi
Best DirectorRide Laughing (Italy)Directed by Valerio Mastandrea
Best ActorTommi Korpela for his role in Void / Tyhlo (Finland)Directed by Aleksi Salmenperä
Best ActressSoha Niasti for her role in My Second Year in College / Sale – E Dovvome-E Danehkadeh-ye Man (Iran)Directed by Rasoul Sadrameli
Best DocumentaryMen’s Room (Norway)Directed by Petter Sommer and Jo Vemund
Best Short FilmTigre (France)Directed by Delphine Deloget
Special Prize for Outstanding Contribution to World CinemaKim Kiduk (Korea)
Special Prize for Outstanding Achievement in the Career of Acting and Devotion to the Principles of the Stanislavsky SchoolRalph Fiennes