'Island' all by itself with half-dozen Golden Eagles

Dominates Russia's film awards

"The Island" (Ostrov), Russian director Pavel Lungin's dramatic story of a man's lifelong quest for God's forgiveness, scooped six of the eight top trophies Saturday at Moscow's Golden Eagle national film awards.

"Island" — about a monk living on a remote island who, as a young man, was forced by invading Nazi troops to fatally shoot his best friend — won best feature film, director, actor (Pyotr Mamonov), screenplay (Dmitri Sobolev), photography (Andrei Zhegalov) as well as supporting actor for Viktor Sukhorukov, best known for his eponymous role in Alexei Balabanov's cult crime thriller "Brother."

"Island," which recently aired on Russian television, premiered in June at the Moscow International Film Festival and was the closing film at the Venice Film Festival in September.

Deep and moving, the art house film with a message about the redemptive power of prayer is very different from last year's top prize winner, the blockbuster Afghan war adventure "9th Company," directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk, whose father Sergei won an Oscar for his epic 1968 adaptation of "War and Peace."

Other winners at Saturday's ceremony, televised from Moscow's Mosfilm studio complex, included Anna Mikhalkova, best actress for her role in the adultery drama "Svyaz" (Relations); Inna Churikova, best TV series actress for her part in the dramatization of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "The First Circle" (V Krugye Pervom), a series that also picked up best TV series or miniseries for its director, Gleb Panfilov; and Oleg Yankovksy, best TV series actor for his role in last year's dramatization of "Dr. Zhivago."

Chulpan Khamatova won best supporting actress for her part in the film "Mnogotochie." Best animation went to director Ekaterina Mikhaylova for "The Captain's Daughter" (Kapitanskaya Dochka).

Best foreign film on release in Russia was Pedro Almodovar's "Volver." Roman Polanski picked up an award for outstanding contribution to world cinema.

The Golden Eagles, founded in 2002, is one of the two rival Russian Oscar-style awards. The older awards, the NIKAS, take place in April in Moscow.
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