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October 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A move is underway in Russia to overhaul the committee that nominates the film to represent the country in the best foreign language competition at the annual Oscar race. It follows widespread controversy over the selection of Nikita Mikhalkov’s Burnt by the Sun: The Citadel, as this year’s entry despite the fact that the film received a drubbing from critics and flopped at the box office. Daily Variety reported today (Monday) that a new union of filmmakers, Kino Soyuz, is lobbying for a transparent nomination process from a committee drawn from the ranks of previous Oscar nominees or winners. Several Russian critics have noted that Mikhalkov has close ties to the country’s power elite and is a close friend of Vladimir Putin. Russia’s Moskovskiye Novosti newspaper described the selection of Citadel for the Oscar competition as a triumph of “cronyism” over “common sense.”