Bakuradze wins with first feature

MOSCOW — A first-time director up against competition from some of Russia’s top filmmakers walked away with a cash prize worth $26,000 at the closing Sunday of the national Kinotavr film festival in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Georgian-born Bakur Bakuradze’s “Shultes” — an evocative story of a man whose memory loss isolates him in a world where he feels nothing until he unwittingly plays a role in the death of a young woman — won best film in a competition rich in debuts.

Bakuradze’s film, produced by leading Russian producer Sergei Selyanov, head of St Peterburg’s CTB Studio, had already created a buzz among international critics when it played last month at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight. The film will be released in Russia Thursday.

Best director went to Alexander Proshkin for wartime drama “Live and Remember” (Zhivi I Pomni) and best debut to Igor Voloshin for his contemporary punk underworld drama “Nirvana.”

Best actress was Ksenia Rappoport for her role in Kirill Serebrennikov’s “Yuri’s Day” (Yuriev Den); best actor went to Britain’s Jethro Skinner for his role as a puppeteer who finds love in Russia in Oksana Bychkova’s “Plus One” (Plyus Odin).

Ilya Demin picked up a new prize for best camerawork for his cinematography in Alexander Melnik’s futuristic “Terra Nova” (Novaya Zemlya).

Mikhail Kalatozishvili’s study of a country doctor’s life in a remote central Asian landscape, “Wild Field” (Dikoye Polye), scooped most of the other prizes, including best script (posthumously awarded to Pyotr Lutsik and Alexei Samoriadov), music and best commercial project.

The film also won the Russian guild of critics White Elephant prize.

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