Golden Unicorn Awards nominees announced in London

On December 5, the Golden Unicorn Awards ceremony for achievements in the field of Russian cinema was held in London. The award was presented by a jury consisting of European, American and other foreign filmmakers. Afisha.London magazine tells about the experimental format of the ceremony and shares the list of the award winners.


The Golden Unicorn Awards is being held in the British capital as part of the Russian Film Week for the fifth time. This year’s ceremony took place at the Theater Royal Haymarket in a completely new format. The ceremony was a theatrical performance based on Shakespearean Tempest. Created by Oliver Bennet and Vladimir Scherban, founders of the HUNCH Theatre, The Tempest and the Unicorn starred actor Danila Kozlovsky, writer Alexander Tsypkin, singer Lina Maxine, pianist Stephen Ridley, and actors Ben Fox, Oliver Bennett and Maxim Korbun.


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The play tells the story of Shakespeare, his daughter Miranda, the villain Caliban and the Unicorn, who fled the UK to escape the plague epidemic. In gloomy isolation, Miranda stops singing, the Unicorn sits on a chain and realizes himself as a draft horse, Shakespeare has completely forgotten who he is, and the domineering antagonist Caliban suppresses any attempts to remember the lost system of moral values. During a sudden storm, the wreckage of the ship is thrown ashore along with the captain and his laptop, on which several Russian films are loaded. The captain was on his way to London to show films from Russia and to meet the Golden Unicorn. After seeing the best Russian films, Shakespeare decides to return to literature, Miranda, falling in love with captain, wants to sing again, and the Unicorn remembers his magical destiny. Love saves the world: culture comes to life, theaters and museums open, and not a trace remains of the pandemic.

The Golden Unicorn Awards is an annual event reflecting the cross-cultural mission of the Russian Film Week Festival; building a bridge between the English-speaking world and the Russian people.


Anna Smith, a renowned British film critic and President of the Jury said: “It’s been my honour to chair the awards this year, and a real treat to devour so much contemporary Russian cinema. I have been hugely impressed by the talent on display behind and in front of the camera. I have genuinely laughed and cried at these contenders. The filmmakers have approached tough subjects from politics to gender based violence sensitively, and balanced dark and light deftly. We could be in a new golden era for Russian cinema!”


The winners of the Golden Unicorn Awards 2021:

  • Best Film — Captain Volkonogov Escaped, by N. Merkulova, A. Chupov;
  • Best Screenplay — Captain Volkonogov Escaped, by N. Merkulova, A. Chupov;
  • Best Debut — Next Station: Russia, by I. Sosnin;
  • Best Short Film — Promises, by L. Vlad;
  • Best documentary — Far Eastern Golgotha, by Julia Sergina;
  • Best foreign film with a Russian connection — Bloodsuckers, by Julian Radlmaier;
  • Best foreign documentary — Bless you, by T. Chistova (Poland);
  • Best Emerging Talent — Polina Gukhman (Masha);
  • Best Actress — Svetlana Khodchenkova (Another Name);
  • Best Actor — Yuri Borisov (Captain Volkonogov Escaped);
  • Best Animated Film — Secret Magic Control Agency, by A. Tsitsilin;
  • Best Russian Actor in an International Project (The Casting Bridge Award) — Alexander Kuznetsov.


Cover photo: Oleg Savca



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