Aleksei Uchitel pic wins several NIKA prizes

MOSCOW — Aleksei Uchitel’s film of powerful emotions between a shell-shocked officer and women in a Siberian labor camp, “The Edge,” took top kudos late Thursday at Russia’s NIKA national film awards.

The NIKAs, the older of two national film awards held annually in Russia, gave actor prize to Vladimir Mashkov, who starred as the damaged soldier in Uchitel’s film, which was also Russia’s entry for foreign-lingo Oscar earlier this year. Director of photography Yuri Klimenko picked up the prize for lensing.

Yevgeny Mironov won supporting actor for his part in Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun 2,” the lavish sequel to his 1995 pic , set in war-torn Russia. Film screened last year in competish at Cannes.

Actress trophy was won by Nina Ruslanova for her part in the comedy “The Chinese Grandmother” (Kitayskaya babushka); while supporting actress went to Irina Muravyova for the same film.

In other awards at the ceremony held in Moscow’s Operetta Theater, Aleksei Popogrebsky won for directing “How I Spent Last Summer,” a hit with critics last year in Berlin where it screened in competition; Denis Osokin for the screenplay to “Silent Souls” (Ovsyanki); and the film’s composer Andrei Karasev took the prize for music.

Patriotic wartime drama “Brest Fortress” took an ensemble award for costume designers Sergei Struchev and Vladimir Koretsky; for art direction for Alim Matveichuk; sound engineering for Fillip Lamshin and Anatoly Belozerov.

The NIKAs have been awarded annually in Russia since 1988 by the Russian Academy of Cinematic Arts and Sciences; a separate national film awards ceremony, the Golden Eagles, founded by Nikita Mikhalkov, has been hosted each year since 2002 by the Russian National Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

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