A Belarusian film director has received Russia's most prestigious documentary film prize.
The jury of the Russian festival of documentary films Laurel Branch decided unanimously to award prominent Belarusian director Yury Khashchavatski with a bronze laurel branch for lifetime achievements in filmmaking.
“It is an honourary award in our profession. Alexander Sokurov received it last year. This year, the jury decided to award me. Of course, it's very pleasant.”
The film director says taking into account that he made films criticising the Russian government, a decision to give the prize to him was a brave gesture:
“Serious political processes are under way in Russia. One of my latest works is title Lobotomy. It is a film about the Russian-Georgian war in South Ossetia, about Russia's aggression and the work of the Russian media. It is a sharp political film against the Russian authorities. The very fact that the Russians give me this award is a brave gesture and an act of defiance.”