Annual event to leave Moscow in 2009

LONDON — Russia’s annual television awards — the TEFIs — are to take place in a remote and chilly Siberian outpost next year.

The Russian Television Academy Awards — which since 1994 have been given annually each April in Moscow — will be handed out at a glitzy ceremony in Khanty-Mansiysk, northern Siberia, after regional governor Alexander Filipenko agreed to host them, according to state news agency RIA Novosti.

The decision, Monday, following a meeting in Khanty-Mansiysk with academy president Raisa Bespechnaya, will mean a 1,270 mile air journey east from Moscow next April for nominees in up to 50 categories awarded for television programs screened in the 12 months ending May 2008.

Despite its remote location and inhospitable weather — the thermometer stays well below zero from October to April — Khanty-Mansiysk is a wealthy oil-producing region that hosts the famous winter ‘Spirit of Fire’ film festival.

Securing the TEFIs for a region that keenly promotes hunting and eco-tourism will help increase its profile in Russia and internationally.

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