Kinotavr's top prize goes to first-timer

Bakur Bakuradze's 'Shultes' wins the upset

SOCHI, Russia -- Kinotavr, Russia's top local film festival, ended Sunday with the surprise victory by a first-time feature director.

Bakur Bakuradze's "Shultes," a drama about a pickpocket who loses his memory after a car accident and tries to return to a normal life, which premiered at May's Festival de Cannes, earned the prize for best film.

Veteran Alexander Proshkin, meanwhile, picked up the directing nod for the World War II drama "Live and Remember."

The best screenplay prize was posthumously awarded to Pyotr Lutsik and Alexei Samoriadov, the writers of "Wild Field" by Mikhail Kalatozishvili, grandson of the renowned Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov.

The festival's cinematography prize went to Ilya Demin, director of photography on Alexander Melnik's "Terra Nova," the festival's most expensive entry with a budget of about $10 million.

The Kinotavr festival is held in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.