Andrey Smirnov triumphs at NIKA

25th Russian NIKA Film Awards recognises Andrey Smirnov’s There Once Was a Country Woman historical drama — partially shot at Belarusfilm Studio

The producer of the famous Belarusian Railway Station film also wrote the script and directed (jointly with his wife Yelena). There Once Was a Country Woman won six prizes: ‘Best Film’, ‘Best Script’, ‘Best Female Role’ (Darya Yekamasova), ‘Best Supporting Male Role’ (Roman Madyanov), ‘Best Artist’ and ‘Best Costumes’.

“Mr. Smirnov’s victory is absolutely deserved,” admits Honoured Artiste of Belarus Ivan Matskevich, who acted in the film. “The story was unusual, as epics have fallen out of popularity recently. I was happy to be asked by Andrey to participate, alongside Lyudmila Matskevich and Olesya Pukhovaya.”

Speaking of Mr. Smirnov’s phenomenal success, Mr. Matskevich stresses, “He is a great professional yet modest. At work, he always knows exactly what he wants his actors to do — which is rare. I’m sincerely happy that he is directing again after his many-year break.”

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Yelena claimed the second largest number of NIKA awards. Nadezhda Markina and Darya Yekamasova were acknowledged the best female actresses and Mr. Zvyagintsev’s directorship was praised, as was the camera work of Mikhail Krichman. Meanwhile, Yelena Lyadova won ‘Best Supporting Female Role’.

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