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Oscars: Ukraine Enters 'Parajanov' In Foreign Language Race

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  • Oscars: Ukraine Enters 'Parajanov' In Foreign Language Race

    September 16, 2013 Monday

    Vladimir Kozlov

    MOSCOW -- Ukraine has nominated a biopic on Soviet-era director Sergei
    Paradjanov for the Academy Award in the foreign language film category.

    Paradjanov, directed by first-time feature directors Olena Fetisova
    and Serge Avedikian, who starred as the renowned director, was made
    as a co-production between Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia - the three
    countries in which Paradjanov worked - and France.

    The Euro2 million biopic had its world premiere as part of the Karlovy
    Vary Film Festival's program East of West last July. It was later
    screened at the Odessa International Film Festival and collected
    the Golden Duke award for the best Ukrainian film. It had a general
    Ukrainian release on Sept. 12.

    "I believe that Paradjanov is more than a worthy Ukrainian entry in
    the Oscar race," Denis Rzhavsky, a member of the Ukrainian Committee,
    said in a statement. "However, what made me glad was not the selection
    of that film, but the quality and quantity of its competitors. It is
    already clear that in 2014, we will have premieres that will change
    audiences' perceptions of the Ukrainian cinema."

    Paradjanov, an ethnic Armenian born and raised in Georgia, came
    to prominence with his 1965 historic drama Tini zabutykh predkiv
    (Shadows of the Forgotten Ancestors), which collected the Critics
    Grand Prize and the Special Jury Award at the Mar del Plata Film
    Festival and was released in more than a dozen countries.

    However, despite the international success, Paradjanov was soon banned
    from filmmaking by Soviet ideologues and later thrown into prison on
    what is widely believed to be fabricated charges and spent several
    years behind bars.

    After being released, he made three more features, Ambavi Suramis
    tsikhitsa (The Legend of the Suram Fortress) and Ashug-Karibi (The
    Hoary Legends of the Caucasus), and died in 1990.