Russia to Launch Its Alternative to Golden Globes

Moscow Red Sqaure - H 2015
AP Images

Moscow Red Sqaure - H 2015

Critics will run the first Open National Press Award later this year as the country also has been discussing ideas for alternatives to the Oscars and the Cannes Film Festival.

Russia will launch the Open National Press Awards, conceived as the country's alternative to the Golden Globes, in a bid to step up the role of the Russian film critics’ community.

Unlike the Golden Globes awarded in Hollywood, the Russian prizes are to be run by local press rather than the foreign press in the country.

"Russian journalists [have] a considerable input in popularizing contemporary national cinema, and their critical evaluation contributes to increasing quality and competitiveness of our cinema," Oleg Ivanov, first deputy chairman of Russia’s filmmakers’ union, said Thursday in announcing the awards.

The new awards are scheduled to be handed out for the first time this year, which was pronounced “the year of cinema” in Russia. A specific date for the ceremony wasn't immediately announced, but it is likely to be held in March. Categories have also not yet been announced, but, in addition to such traditional honors as best film and best director, a best foreign-language film category also is likely.

The move is in line with Russia’s plans to launch local equivalents of major international film awards as officials says those often overlook Russian movies.

Last year, the idea of “an alternative Oscar” under the auspices of Russia's filmmakers' union for movies from the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) was floated in addition to a Russian film festival “alternative to Cannes,” which would be run at the same time as the French festival and screen movies that didn't make it into major international film events.

Russia already has a small press award, the White Elephant, which will continue despite the introduction of the new awards.

Last year, Russian helmer Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan won a Golden Globe in the best foreign-language film category.