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Soviet and Russian nominees for Academy Awards

‘Loveless,’ a Russian drama directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev, won an Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS./ ‘Loveless,’ a Russian drama directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev, won an Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film category on Tuesday as the Academy Awards revealed its 2018 selections on January 23.

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony will take place in the Dolby Theater on March 4.



Nominees for the Best Foreign Film award are selected by the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) from a list of films, designated by national committees. The Russian committee is chaired by filmmaker Vladimir Menshov.

Nominees for other categories are selected by AMPAS, and nominations of non-US films are quite rare. A relatively high number of foreign entries can usually be seen only in the Best Animated Short Film category.



The Soviet Union’s first Academy Awards nomination and winner was the 1942 Soviet documentary film, ‘Moscow Strikes Back.’ It was among the four winners at the 15th Academy Awards for Best Documentary.

In all, nine Soviet and seven Russian films ('Loveless' included) have been nominated for the Best Foreign Film category, and four of them got the award. Besides, one Soviet and five Russian entries were nominated for the Best Animated Short Film category, and one of them appeared victorious.

Two Soviet films were nominated for the Best Documentary Short Subject - ‘Life at the Zoo’ by the Artkino union in 1947 and ‘Recollections of Pavlovsk’ by Irina Kalinina in 1985.

In 1962, the ‘Khovanshchina’ TV opera was nominated in the Scoring of a Musical Picture category.

Therefore, Loveless became Soviet Union and Russia’s 26th Oscar nominee.


Best Foreign Film nominees

The Soviet Union’s first nominee and winner of the Best Foreign Film award was ‘War and Peace’ by Sergei Bondarchuk in 1969.

A year later, in 1970, ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Ivan Pyryev were also nominated for the award.

The next Soviet Union entries were:

‘Tchaikovsky’ by Igor Talankin (1972);

‘The Dawns Here Are Quiet’ by Stanislav Rostotsky (1973);

‘Dersu Uzala’ by Akira Kurosawa (1976, joint Soviet-Japanese production), which became the Soviet Union’s second Oscars winner;

‘White Bim Black Ear’ by Stanislav Rostotsky (1979);

‘Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears’ by Vladimir Menshov (1981, third Soviet winner);

‘Private Life’ by Yuli Raizman (1983);

‘Wartime Romance’ by Pyotr Todorovsky (1985);

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the first nomination of Russia was ‘Close to Eden’ by Nikita Mikhalkov (1993). Mikhalkov got the award in 1995, for his film ‘Burnt by the Sun.’

Russia’s next nominees for the Academy Awards were:

‘Prisoner of the Mountains’ by Sergei Bodrov (1997);

‘The Thief’ by Pavel Chukhray (1998);

‘12’ by Nikita Mikhalkov (2008);

‘Leviathan’ by Andrey Zvyagintsev (2015).


Nominees for the Short Film (Animated) category

In 1990, a Soviet cartoon ‘The Cow’ by Alexander Petrov was nominated for the Short Film (Animated) category. Three paint-on-glass cartoons by Petrov were nominated for the Oscars in later years - ‘The Mermaid’ (1998), ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ (won the award in 1999) and My Love (2008).

In 2009, ‘Lavatory - Lovestory’ by Konstantin Bronzit was nominated for Oscars in the same category. His another cartoon - ‘We Can’t Live Without Cosmos’ earned an Oscar nomination in 2016.