MOSCOW, August 13 /TASS/. Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov, the president of the Russian Cinematographers’ Union, has won the Boccalino Independent Critics’ Award at the 68th International Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland, for his contribution to the international film industry, the film director’s press service told TASS on Thursday.
In a letter addressed to Mikhalkov, the festival’s organizers informed him that independent film critics who were present at the show had passed a unanimous decision to confer the Boccalino special award on Mikhalkov for his contribution to cinematographic art, Mikhalkov’s press service went on to say.
"Unfortunately, Mikhalkov will be unable to receive his award personally at the festival’s award ceremony to be held on August 14, a day before the festival officially closes," the press service stressed.
The Golden Leopard, the festival’s top prize, is awarded to the best film in the international competition. This year, it went to Russia’s oldest film director Marlen Khutsiyev. The audiences had a chance to see a retrospective of Khutsiyev’s films.
The festival’s other awards, apart from the Golden Leopard, include the Leopard of Honour for outstanding career achievements, and the Prix du Public UBS, the public choice award.
The annual Locarno International Film Festival has been held since 1946. It is known worldwide as a festival of discovery. Throughout its history, the festival has discovered new trends and launched the careers of numerous directors and actors. Although the festival aims at the films, rather than at stars and glamour, several well-known personalities of the international film industry have visited the Locarno International Film Festival in recent years.
A number of Russian film directors have won the festival’s awards in various years. They include Alexey German, Kira Muratova, Alexander Sokurov, Alexey Mizgirev, etc. Yuri Bykov’s film "The Fool" represented Russia in Locarno last year. The film won the best actor’s work award (Artyom Bystrov), the youth jury award and a special prize for humanism.