Captain becomes the first Russian film to win at the Philadelphia Film Festival

On 29 October, as the 30th Philadelphia Film Festival drew to a close, events took an unprecedented turn. For the first time in the festival's long history, the Best Narrative Feature award went to a pair of Russian filmmakers: Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov, for their film Captain Volkonogov Escaped.

Films that have enjoyed success at the Philadelphia Film Festival in the past have often gone on to win international acclaim. Examples include Lukas Moodysson's Together, Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Catherine Breillat's Anatomy of Hell, Nadav Lapid's Policeman, Radu Jude's Everybody in Our Family, Emir Baigazin's Harmony Lessons, Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi's The Tribe, Barry Jenkins' Moonlight and Hu Bo's An Elephant Sitting Still. 

Every year, the Philadelphia Film Festival presents the best and most exciting movies from around the world alongside local films, retrospectives and tributes. In 2021, the Festival defied Covid-19 to take place for the thirtieth time, offering its audiences the choice of more than 140 films from 50 countries with a fantastically broad range of forms, genres and subjects. Its World View competition included 23 films from across the globe.

Captain Volkonogov Escaped received its world premiere as part of the main competition at the Venice Film Festival. The film was also entered into the main competition at the 32nd Kinotavr Festival, where it won the Audience Award and the Grigory Gorin Prize for the best script. Sergey Fevralev, the film's production designer, received plaudits at the Chicago International Film Festival, where he scooped the Best Art Direction award. Captain Volkonogov Escaped also won the NETPAC award and a Bronze Star in the main competition at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt.

The film's Russian distributor will be Central Partnership (part of Gazprom Media). The exact release date is yet to be announced.