Ukrainian Film Academy has awarded the winners of Golden Dziga, the first-ever movie award in Ukraine designed after the Oscars and BAFTA.
Actors and filmmakers gathered at Fairmont Grand Hotel late on April 20 to walk the red carpet and witness the ceremony.
The members of the national Film Academy, created in February, have chosen the best movies out of 76 films that were submitted for the competition in 13 categories.
The award is named after Ukrainian director Dziga Vertov, who helmed the classic documentary “Man With a Movie Camera.”
Social drama “The Nest of the Turtledove,” directed by Taras Tkachenko, was the absolute leader of the night. The story of a villager who returns home to Ukraine after working as a maid abroad was nominated in eight categories and won six statuettes, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Actor in the leading role (Rymma Zubina and Vitaliy Linetskyi), as well as actress and actor in a supporting role (Natalya Vlasko and Mykola Boklan).
Directed by Olena Demyanenko, a historical drama “My Grandmother Fanny Kaplan” has won both Best Art Director and Best Screenwriter.
Serhiy Bukovskyi’s touching and funny film about his mom “The Main Role” was awarded as the Best Documentary.
Ukraine’s first-ever 3D animated cartoon “Mykyta Kozhumiaka” (“The Dragon Spell”) received Dziga as the Best Animated Feature.
Alla Zahaikevych was awarded as the Best Composer for her work with a documentary “Live Bonfire.” Another Ukrainian composer, the leader of the band Okean Elzy, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk presented the award.
To some, however, the award looks controversial and non-transparent, as many of the winners are connected to Ukraine’s newly created Film Academy which awarded the Golden Dziga.
For example, Demyanenko and Dmytro Tomashpolsky, this year’s Best Screenplay category winners, are also members of the Academy, while Mykola Boklan, the awarded Best Supporting Actor, is the brother of another academy member, also famous actor Stanislav Boklan.
Viktoriya Tigipko, head of the supervisory board of the Ukrainian Film Academy, told the Kyiv Post that “members of our Film Academy are the working filmmakers, so, of course, the projects in which they are engaged will further compete in the Ukrainian Film Awards.”
“And it’s good, as it means that Ukraine’s film industry is developing,” she said in an emailed note.
Tigipko also said that the organizers have considered the possible conflict of interests, so they designed the selection process in a way that does not allow a biased person to distort the result.
The host of the Academy Awards, Oleksandr Skichko, who will also host the upcoming Eurovision in May, entertained the audience in between the nominations.
Ukrainian singer Katya Chilly, as well as the bands Pianoboy and Panivalkova performed during the ceremony.
Kyiv Post staff writer Veronika Melkozerova contributed reporting to the story.