'Anna's War' Producers Drop Russian Release After Awards Snub

Anna’s War Still 1 - Publicity-H 2018
Courtesy of Rotterdam International Film Festival

The producers of Alexei Ferdorchenko's WW2 drama pulled the film from release after it failed to win any of the main prizes at Russia's Kinotavr festival.

In a controversial move, the producers of Alexei Ferdorchenko's Voina Anny (Anna's War) have refused to release the film in Russia after it was snubbed by the jury of Russia's Kinotavr film festival.

A WWII story seen through the eyes of a Jewish child in hiding, Anna's War premiered at the Rotterdam festival in January. It screened in competition in Kinotavr, Russia's leading national festival, but failed to pick up any of the main awards, which were handed out on the weekend. The Kinotavr jury gave Anna's War a single prize, a special mention for the film's child star, Marta Kozlova.

Outraged, Andrei Savelyev, one of the film's producers, announced he would not allow Anna's War to screen in Russia. Speaking to local industry journal ProfiCinema, Savelyev said the Kinotavr snub could have a "disastrous" effect on the film's box office.

"By taking part in Kinotavr, (we) expected to get recognition of the importance of the film and the effort put into in by the entire crew," Savelyev is quoted as saying. Without award recognition, releasing the movie in Russia would be too much of a financial risk, he added. Anna's War was made without any state support, with financing coming solely from private investors and via a crowdfunding campaign.