MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev weighed the chances of his most recent film "Loveless" winning an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in an interview with TASS.
"We did everything we could, and now we just have to wait for the ceremony," Zvyagintsev said. "A journalist from The New York Times asked me - ‘How do you assess the chances of your film winning an Oscar?’ I said I have two answers - the first one is pessimistic, a one-in-five odds. The second one is optimistic, one to two, because either your film wins or another one does," the director added.
According to bookmakers’ estimates, the film is so far in third place, Zvyagintsev continued. ‘A Fantastic Woman’ by Sebastian Lelio is outpacing every other film, followed by Ruben Ostlund’s ‘The Square’, and our film, which is hot on their tails," the filmmaker noted.
At the same time, the director added that both "The Square" and "A Fantastic Woman" have already been shown in American theaters. "They know about these films in America, they have a lot of press and advertising," Zvyagintsev pointed out. "We, on the other hand, are just entering the American market today, February 16. However, we will get just as much press, so major interest in the film will surface in a few days’ time," he added.
"We need to keep in mind that access to the voting for the members of the Academy will be open only on February 20," the director continued. "So, let’s trust in the strategic decision of Sony Classics, our distributor in the US, to launch the film right now," he added.
In early February, Zvyagintsev, along with the producer of the film, Alexander Rodnyansky, flew to the US for the so-called Oscar annual luncheon for the nominees. The director highlighted the attention the film had garnered from some "notable figures".
"For example, Guillermo del Toro spoke well of the film, Michael Mann approached us and thanked us for the movie. Steven Spielberg said that he had seen Leviathan and spoke highly of it, saying Loveless was next on his ‘must watch’ list," the director said.
"Plus, we met Joel Coen and his wife, Frances McDormand, an actress who played a major role in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, and before that in the Coen brothers’ ‘Fargo’. Both of spoke highly about ‘Loveless’’. In a word, we saw a very good response to the film from many great moviemakers," Zvyagintsev stressed.
The Russian movie director added that one could only hope that the Academy will vote for the film. "However, several thousand members of the Academy participate in the voting. It's a democratic procedure and the opinions of well-established members of the Academy weigh exactly the same as opinion of all the other members," he added.
Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Loveless" is a story about separated parents temporarily brought together after their only child goes missing. Aside from earning a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Loveless has already won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and Best Foreign Language Film at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The film was nominated for the European Film Awards, Golden Globes, and Satellite Awards.
"Loveless" was made without state support, it was produced by Non-Stop Production in conjunction with Western companies. Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the North American distribution rights.