'Good Boy' Gets Best Film, Cannes Entry Best Director Honor at Russia's Kinotavr Fest

Moscow Skyline - H - 2016

The country's biggest film festival, which takes place in Sochi, is a launch pad for homegrown movies.

Fresh from playing in the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival last month, Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov's The Student has won the best director award at the country's biggest national film festival, Kinotavr.

The film was picked up for distribution in Russia by Volga. The company said the film will be released this fall, but a precise date will be announced later. The distributor earlier bought Woody Allen's Cannes opening-night film Cafe Society for Russian release.

The festival, which closed Monday night in the Black Sea port city of Sochi, where the Winter Olympics were hosted in 2014, awarded its main prize to Oksana Karas' Good Boy, a comedy about a schoolboy caught up in a ninth-grade love triangle.

Kinotavr is the main Russian festival for local fare, and, in recent years, it has been a launch pad for some films' international runs.

Ivan Tverdovsky's Corrections Class, a realistic portrayal of a Russian school for disabled children, awarded for the best debut at Kinotavr two years ago, picked up awards worldwide, including a jury prize in Seattle's New Director Showcase section and the best film honor at Karlovy Vary's East of the West section.

The director's second feature, Zoology, collected the Kinotavr festival's cinema critics award, while its star Natalia Pavlenkova picked up the best actress honor. The film is being tipped as a contender for Russia's Oscar submission this year.

Zoology, about an ordinary woman whose mundane life is transformed when she grows a tail, gets its international premiere next month in Karlovy Vary's main competition.

The best actor honor at Kinotavr went to Russian star Konstantin Khabensky for his role in Alexei Krasovky's film The Collector, which also picked up the best cinematography prize for Konstantin Chelidze. The best-debut-film award went to Denis Shabayev for Someone Else's Work.