Boris Akopov’s Byk (Bull) took the top award at Kinotavr, Russia’s main national film festival, which closed late Sunday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi with a screening of Andrew Smirnov’s film The Frenchman, a 1950s Moscow-set love story between a foreign student and a Bolshoi Theatre ballerina.
Bull, Akopov’s debut feature, is set in the 1990s and centers on a leader of a youth gang who gets involved with more serious criminal activity. The film’s director of photography, Gleb Filatov, received best cinematography honors.
Alexander Lungin was tapped as best director for Bolshaya poeziya (Big Poetry), while the film’s star, Alexander Kuzntesov, was named best actor.
Viktoria Tolstoganova earned best actress honors for her role in Oksana Karas’ Vyshe neba (Above the Sky), and the Grirory Gorin best screenplay award went to Karas and her co-writers, Maria Shulgina and Yelizaveta Tikhonova.
Anna Parmas’ Davay Razvedyomsya (Let’s Divorce) was chosen as best debut feature.
Yusup Razykov’s Kerosin (Kerosene) took home the critics’ award.
The jury’s special diploma went to Nihgina Sayfullayeva’s Vernost (Faithfulness).
The festival, which is run by top Russian producer Alexander Rodnyansky and this year marked its 30th anniversary, is known for identifying Russian films that later make their mark on the international festival scene.