Russian Director Calls For "Alternative Oscars" For BRICS Countries

Nikita MIkhalkov
Kristina Nikishina/Epsilon/Getty Images

Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov also said politics thwarted his latest bid to make the best foreign-language award shortlist.

Russian Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov has called for the creation of an "alternative Oscar" for BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

"The idea was met with a lot of enthusiasm [in these countries]," Mikhalkov said earlier this week at the Russian filmmakers' union's conference in Moscow. "In this situation, we want other voices to be heard in the world, too."

He added that a Eurasian film academy, which would award "alternative Oscars," could be created in 2017.

Mikhalkov also said that political reasons were behind the fact that his most recent film, Solnechny Udar (Sunstroke), didn’t make the shortlist for best foreign-language film.

"I am sure that my film Burnt by the Sun, which won an Oscar [in the best foreign-language film category back in 1995], wouldn't be shortlisted had it been submitted today," Mikhalkov was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

"The situation in the world is too politicized and polarized," he added.

According to Mikhalkov, his "persona non grata" status in Ukraine and the Baltic States influenced decisions about the Oscar shortlist in the best foreign-language film category.

Mikhalkov has ardently supported Russia's annexation of Crimea, which led to the Ukrainian and Baltic entry bans.

Based on a short story by Ivan Bunin, the first Russian author to win the Nobel Prize in literature, the $21 million Sunstroke was released in Russia in October 2014 and grossed just $1.7 million.

Critical response to the movie was mixed, and many criticized the Russian Oscar committee's decision to submit the film into the Oscar race.