Local director wings Golden Lion at Venice

Local director wings Golden Lion at Venice St. Petersburg director Alexander Sokurov has won the Golden Lion for best film at the 68th Venice Film Festival.

Sokurov's adaptation of classic morality tale Faust beat off competition from veterans such as Roman Polanski, marking a major triumph for Russian film.

Head of the jury Darren Aronofsky, himself famed as the director of The Wrestler and Black Swan, was fulsome in his praise for Sokurov's film:

There are films which make you dream, make you cry, laugh and think, and there are films which change your life forever. This is one of those films.

Prior to Faust, the St. Petersburg director was perhaps best known for Russian Ark (2002), a groundbreaking costume drama shot in the halls of the State Hermitage museum in one long take.

Sokurov, who struggled with the Soviet censor during the 1980s, is regarded as one of Russia's most talented directors.

He is currently engaged in a battle to save St.Petersburg's legendary film studio, Lenfilm, which is in need of major investment.


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