Variety has been given exclusive access to the international trailer (below) for World War II drama “First Oscar,” which is inspired by the true story of the making of documentary “Moscow Strikes Back,” winner of an Oscar in 1943, the first year when documentaries had their own Academy Award.
“First Oscar” is in post-production, and will be released on March 24. Central Partnership is representing the film in foreign markets.
The film follows two student cinematographers, Ilya Kopalin and Leonid Varlamov, who, as the Nazis approach Moscow, refuse to be evacuated and instead volunteer to be front-line cameramen capturing the horrors of war and bravery of the Soviet soldiers.
The film follows a second storyline that unfolds in the U.S. After the film’s premiere, one of the members of the Academy Awards selection committee tries to persuade his colleagues to launch a new category for Best Documentary at the upcoming Oscars event.
The Academy citation read: “A special award to ‘Moscow Strikes Back’ for its vivid presentation of the heroism of the Russian Army and of the Russian people in the defense of Moscow, and for its achievement in so doing under conditions of extreme difficulty and danger.”
“First Oscar” was directed by Sergey Mokritskiy, best known for World War II movie “Battle for Sevastopol,” the story of female sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko.
“First Oscar” was produced by Natalia Mokritskaya, whose credits include “Jumpman,” “Zoology,” “Battle for Sevastopol,” “Corrections Class” and “Playing the Victim.”
Other films on the Central Partnership slate include “Mission ‘Sky,’” an action film based on a true story from the Syrian War, “100 Minutes,” inspired by Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s classic “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” and “The Pilot: A Battle for Survival,” about a Russian pilot who is shot down behind enemy lines.