Producers of Hockey Biopic Win Russia's State Prize

Centered on Valery Kharlamov, a legendary 1970s Soviet hockey player, "Legend No. 17" also won best Russian movie at the country's Golden Eagles awards earlier this year.

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA -- The creators of the patriotic ice hockey blockbuster Legenda Nomer Semnadtsat (Legend No. 17), one of last year’s Russian box office champions, have been awarded the country's top governmental award, the state prize.

The award is to go to director Nikolai Lebedev and producers Leonid Vereshchagin and Anton Zlatopolsky.

Centered on Valery Kharlamov, a legendary 1970s Soviet hockey player, Legend No. 17 was also hailed as the best Russian movie at the Golden Eagles ceremony earlier this year.

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The $14 million biopic grossed $28.6 million in theaters and became the eighth-highest-grossing movie among all of 2013's releases in Russia, as well as the second-top-grossing local movie after Fyodor Bondarchuk's Stalingrad. Several top Russian officials praised the film.

The success of Legend No. 17 prompted local filmmakers to further explore major sports heroes and events from the Soviet era. At least two competing projects focused on legendary 1960s soccer goalkeeper Lev Yashin are currently in development, while Krasnaya Armiya (Red Army), a feature-length documentary on the legendary Soviet ice hockey squad, written and directed by Gabe Polsky and co-produced by Russia and the U.S., is to be the opening-night film at the Moscow International Film Festival's 36th edition later this month.

The documentary was premiered at Cannes last month to positive reviews.