Pro-Kremlin Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov has not found a spot in the Oscar shortlist.
Mikhalkov’s film "Solnechny Udar" ("Sunstroke") is not among the nine films shortlisted for the “Best Foreign Film” category. The shortlist, published Thursday, includes films from Belgium (The Brand New Testament), Colombia (Embrace of the Serpent), Denmark (A War), Finland (The Fencer), France (Mustang), Germany (Labyrinth of Lies), Hungary (Son of Saul), Ireland (Viva) and Jordan (Theeb).
Russia nominated Mikhalkov’s film as its official entry for the Oscar after it had won the Golden Eagle award for Best Film of 2014 in January. The film, based on works by Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Ivan Bunin, was nationally premiered nationally in Crimea on Oct. 4.
Mikhalkov, best known for his 1994 movie “Burnt by the Sun,” won the Oscar for the film in the Best Foreign Film category. He was also nominated for the same category in 1992 for “Close to Eden.” Since Mikhalkov’s 1995, no Russian director has managed to win the Oscar for the Best Foreign Film category.
The Russian filmmaker, known for his support for President Vladimir Putin, was earlier blacklisted from entering Ukraine. The ban was imposed on him because of his support for Russia’s stand on East Ukraine and Crimea.
Mikhalkov commented on the ban by comparing his situation with that of legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. He said he felt the same as Eisenstein would have felt if he had been banned from entering Nazi Germany in 1939.
Mikhalkov said after Russia had sent his film to the Oscar in September that he did not expect to win “in the current situation,” Russian News Agency Tass reported, according to The Moscow Times.
The final five nominations for the 88th Academy Awards will be announced live on Jan. 14 at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.