The Golden Unicorn Awards announces its 2019 nominees and juries for 2019

The Golden Unicorn Awards is an annual event reflecting the cross-cultural mission of the Russian Film Week and building a bridge between the English-speaking world and the Russian people. The ceremony is designed to recognize excellence in 12 nominations:

Best Film
“The Factory”, director Yury Bykov
“The Great Poetry”, director Alexander Lungin
“Text”, director Klim Shipenko
“Van Goghs”, director Sergey Livnev
“Convoy 48”, director Fedor Popov

Best Screenplay
“The Humorist”, writer Michael Idov
“Sheena667”, writers Grigory Dobrygin, Alexander Rodionov, Iliya Nosochenko
“Love Them All”, writer Maria Agranovich
“Through The Black Glass”, writer Konstantin Lopushanskiy
“Van Goghs”, writer Sergey Livnev

Best Actor       
Alexander Petrov, “Text”        
Alexander Kuznetsov, “The Great Poetry”       
Alexey Agranovich, “The Humorist”
Daniel Olbrychski, “Van Goghs”        
Mikhail Sukhanov, “Through The Black Glass”           

Best Actress
Alena Mikhailova, “Love Them All”
Anna Mikhalkova, “Another Woman”
Viktoria Tolstoganova, “High Above”
Yulia Peresild, “Sheena 667”

Best Emerging Talent
Alena Mikhailova, actress, “Love Them All”
Maria Lobanova, actress, “Success”
Alexander Zolotukhin, director, “A Russian Youth”
Maria Agranovich, director, “Love Them All”

Best Debut
“The Humorist”, Mikhail Idov, director
“Sheena667”, Grigory Dobrygin, director
“Love Them All”, Maria Agranovich, director,
“Great Poetry”, Alexander Lungin, director
“Another Woman”, Anna Parmas, director

Best Foreign Film with a Russian connection
“The Orchard” directors Wanja M Sellers and Charles McMahon
“Mr Jones”, director Agnieszka Holland
“Give Me liberty”, director Kirill Mikhanovsky
“Franka”, director Mitry Semenov-Aleynikov
“The White Crow”, director Ralph Fiennes

Best Foreign Documentary About Russia
“Darkhan”, director Gulshat Omarova
“Lost Reactor”, director Alexandra Westmeier
“Women's Day”, director Dolya Gavanski
“The Patriot / Der Patriot”, director Katja Fedulova
“Buratino”, director Sacha Slobodyanik

Best Animation Film 
“The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands”, directors Robert Lence and Aleksey Tsitsilin
“Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal”, director Vladimir Nikolaev
“Three heroes and the heiress to the throne”, director Kostantin Bronzit
“Harvie and the Magic Game”, directors Inna Evlannikova, Marina Kotik

Best Documentary
“The Case of Sobchak”, director Vera Krichevskaya
“Sorokin Trip”, director Ilya Belov
“Yura The Musician”, director Pavel Selin
“Nothing Personal”, director Evgeniy Milykh

Best Short
“Euthanasia”, director Elena Brodach
“S”, director Ilya Sherstobitov
“SWAP”, director Aksinya Gog
“Goodbye, Amsterdam!”, director Natalia Shinelyova
 “INGOT”, director Nikita Vlasov
“Delivery Service”, directors Vladimir Koptsev and Elena Koptseva
“Farewell”, director Maria Fomina
“White mark”, director Anton Mamykin

Best Russian Film on Ecology
“Father Baikal”, director Marina Maria Mel'nik
“Fateich and the Sea”, directors Alina Rudnitskaya and Sergey Vinokurov
“The Wounded Island”, director Pavel Handorin
“The Land of Bears”, director Daria Hrenova
“The Poisonous Waters of Indonesia”, director Ekaterina Kozhakina

“Our awards with two separate juries: an international and a Russian jury, provide a unique opportunity to recognise both Russian and foreign films through a cross-cultural lens, paving the way for recognition of the best and the most interesting content. We are proud of our lineup of diverse films and talented filmmakers nominated for the awards, and I welcome our extraordinary juries”, said Filip Perkon, Founder and General Producer of the Golden Unicorn Awards.

"Having a rich history, great cultural heritage and talented people, Russia is a country with a deep well of stories waiting to be told through film. As the film industry grows in the country and new talents emerge, there is a big potential for Russian content to be successful internationally. I am excited to be the President of the Jury of the Golden Unicorn Awards and discover the best of Russian motion pictures",  said Linda Jensen, the President of International Jury of the Golden Unicorn Awards.

International Jury also includes:
Pierre Spengler, producer
Pierre Spengler started in the industry in 1964. He worked at the Salkind Organisation producing all of their films including the internationally successful The Three MusketeersThe four Musketeers and Superman trilogy. Since 1986, he has been independent and has produced such motion pictures as The Return of the Musketeers and Underground (Golden Palm in Cannes 1995) and co-produced more than 20 films out of the United Kingdom including Unleashedstarring Jet Li and Morgan Freeman, Guy Ritchie’s Revolver starring Jason Statham, and 7 Seconds starring Wesley Snipes.

Alan Cox, actor, director and producer
He has appeared in many productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre and earlier this year he played the title role in Uncle Vanya at the Hampstead theatre in London. He made his feature film debut as Watson in Young Sherlock Holmes. He has taught Shakespeare at the Moscow Art Theatre School and this year was associate director of Forest, a physical theatre performance devised by the Brusnikin Studio, at the Edinburgh festival fringe.

Nancy Bishop, casting director
Nancy Bishop is an American born, Emmy-nominated casting director, who works internationally from offices in London and Prague. She is the founder of the Casting Society of America’s European branch and the Acting for Film program at the Prague Film School. Nancy has been retained as casting director by dozens of major screen producers and directors, including Brad Bird (Mission Impossible IV), Roman Polanski (Oliver), Matthew Weiner (The Romanoffs) and Guillermo del Toro (the original Hellboy). She is an author of two books, the most recent being Auditioning for Film and Television.

Wendy Reeds, executive vice president at Lionsgate International
An international sales and distribution veteran with 29 years of experience, Wendy works as an Executive Vice President at Lionsgate International with responsibility for running the international licensing team in the UK. Ms. Reeds ran the Company’s Asian sales and operations out of Hong Kong for several years, she has been instrumental in building Lionsgate’s operations in China.

Nick Holdsworth, journalist
British foreign correspondent with 30 years of experience. He writes for The Hollywood Reporter. He is also a Moscow correspondent for international TV network France 24. He has written and directed several documentary shorts, other credits include Permafrost Kingdom shot on location in Yakutia, Russia, November 2011 and two non-fiction books: Moscow The Beautiful and the Damned – Life in Russia in Transition, The Russian Patriot – A Red Army Soldier’s Service for His Motherland (with Sigismund Diczbalis) and Against Bolshevism.

Christopher Simon, producer and CEO at New Sparta Productions
NSP financed The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which premiered in competition at Cannes Film Festival 2017; Tale of Tales (Cannes Competition 2015); and Brimstone, The Limehouse Golem and Miss You Already, all three of which premiered at Toronto Film Festival. Christopher produced Miss You Already, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, starring Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore.

Leo Barraclough, international features editor at Variety
Leo Barraclough serves as international features editor at Variety, where he is assigned articles about the international film and TV business, as well as writing numerous news and features stories himself. Prior to joining Variety, he was features editor, and then managing editor of Screen International.

Nancy Condee, Professor of Film (University of Pittsburgh)
Nancy Condee is a head of the Russian Research Institute. Her awards include the Gaidar Fellowship; a British Academy Fellowship (Saint Antony’s); and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2009 Nancy published her book Imperial Trace: Recent Russian Cinema (Oxford), which won the MLA Slavic Prize. Her articles are published in The Washington Post, October, New Left Review, Sight and Sound, as well as Russian magazines Questions of Literature and Art of Cinema. Her consultancy work includes the Edinburgh Film Festival and PBS on several Frontline documentaries. She has also served on 5 juries, including the Kinotavr Open Film Festival.

Short films, documentaries and animated films will be judged by:

Vestalia Chilton, a cultural strategist, art curator 
Ms Chilton develops synergies between artists, organisations, cities, councils and commercial clients to create ‘win-win’ partnerships. She founded the Attollo Art in early 2011 to explore potential of co-collaboration and co-funding between private and public sectors. Some of her most recent projects include Kensington + Chelsea Art Week, Urban Art at Marrakech Biennale 6th Edition, BritWeek LA, Fine Art Sails, The Croydon Mural Project, The Exhibitionist Hotel in South Kensington and a pioneering AirBnB Gallery offering art spaces and place-making opportunities for emerging artists.

Andrew Byron, actor 
Andrew Byron is a British actor who, as someone who is completely fluent in Russian, has spent most of his twenty years in the film and television business playing Russians of one sort or another. Among his many screen credits, he is best known for his roles in Killing EveWonder Woman, Dr. WhoWar Machineand Spooks.  Although he has also played many French and German roles as well, he works predominantly in English and Russian, dividing his time between Russia and Britain.  Most recently he filmed Russian TV series (Trader) in Moscow and the Marvel movie Black Widow in London. Andrew has also produced a number of Russian-themed plays in London.

Tim Stevens, BFI’s head of business development and production

2 of the 12 nominations are devoted to foreign films about Russia or films related to Russia, its culture, history, literature. Danila Kozlovsky, actor, director and producer, was appointed as a president of the Jury for Foreign Film at the Golden Unicorn Awards.

“There are many stereotypes about Russia out there, and these are often reinforced in foreign films, so it is important to recognise and celebrate international filmmakers who discover and tell stories beyond the usual spy and villain themes. It's an honour to serve as President of the Foreign Films Jury at the Golden Unicorns 2019. I look forward to discovering new content from all corners of the globe and to celebrate international filmmakers in their pursuit to tell Russia connected stories”, Danila Kozlovsky says.

Russian Jury also includes:
Michail Zygar, Russian writer, director, political journalist 
In 2000-2009 Mikhail worked for Kommersant, the biggest publishing house in Russia. He specialized in political reports from conflict areas. Later he became Editor-in-Chief of the TV Rain. He also produced two bestselling books about Russian politics: All the Kremlin’s Men and The Empire Must Die.

Daria Zlatopolskaya, Russian journalist, TV host and film director
She has been present on the key federal channels since early 2000s. At different points in time she was a TV host in Good Morning, Russia!Dancing with Stars, and Belay Studia. The latter is a series of interviews with famous actors, writers and cultural activists.

Andrey Plakhov, PhD awarded Russian cinema critic, journalist at newspaper Kommersant
Andrey is an activist of international filmmaking industry. In 2005-2010 he was the President of the International Federation of Film Critics.

Liza Surganova, editor-in-chief of Kinopoisk
She has worked in the Russian media for nine years including, Forbes, RBC and she has been in charge of Kinopoisk media and editorial policy for three years.

This year, a special nomination, established by SIBUR, ‘Best Film on Ecology’ was added to the traditional nominations. More than 50 films were submitted for the competition.

Stanislav Kasparov, Head of Business Project and Social Policy Support at SIBUR, commented: “SIBUR’s charitable program Formula of Good Deeds is actively supporting cultural projects aimed at shaping a more environmental-friendly culture. We are glad to see that the topic of ecology is concerning people from cinema industry just as much as it concerns us. A large number of films on the topic of ecology was chosen for the competition. We are hoping that the Russian Film Week audience will appreciate the works of Russian directors.”

Jury of the best Russian film on ecology includes:
Olga Michi, travel-blogger, photographer and producer.
Sergey Apresov, journalist, TV-host, editor-in-chief of Vokrug Sveta magazine.
Irina Zhuravleva, director and producer of Kamchatka bears. Life beginsdocumentary, a multiple prize-winner of international film festivals.
Alexander Tsypkin, writer and director. Author of the project Unprincipled Readings.
Aleksandr Melnik, screen writer and director of The territory and New Earth.
Irena Ponaroshku, TV host, journalist, blogger and eco-activist.
Vasiliy Akkerman, writer and publicist.

The 4th Golden Unicorn Awards will be presented at the esteemed Grand Sheraton Ballroom on November 30th over a gala dinner with exquisite cuisine and entertainment. The awards ceremony is expected to be a spectacular show featuring global actors on the red carpet and a Charity Gala Dinner in aid of Natalia Vodianova’s Naked Heart Foundation.


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