Teh golden unicorn awards trophy
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The glitzy Golden Unicorn Awards ceremony took place on 5th December at the Royal Theatre Haymarket, one of the oldest theatres in the UK.

Unlike your usual awards, the Golden Unicorn ceremony was interwoven with theatrical performance based on Shakespearean ‘Tempest’. Created by Oliver Bennet and Vladimir Scherban, founders of the HUNCH Theatre, ‘The Tempest and the Unicorn’ starred actor Danila Kozlovsky (McMafia, Vikings, Chernobyl: Abyss), singer Lina Maxine, pianist Stephen Ridley, and actors Ben Fox, Oliver Bennett and Maxim Korbun.

was interwoven with theatrical performance based on Shakespearean ‘Tempest’.

The Golden Unicorn Awards is an annual event reflecting the cross-cultural mission of the Russian Film Week Festival; building a bridge between the English-speaking world and the Russian people.

British film critic and this year’s Jury President Anna Smith told Ikon London Magazine that she felt honoured to chair the awards in 2021. “This year’s selection was really strong and it was pleasure to see so many great films. I have been hugely impressed by the talent on display behind and in front of the camera. The filmmakers have approached tough subjects – from politics to gender based violence – sensitively, and balanced dark and light deftly. We could be in a new golden era for Russian cinema!”

Theatre director and author of the play, Vladimir Scherban said: “This is a one-off performance, based on ‘The Tempest’, the last play and creative message of the classic. The choice is not accidental. It is not just that Shakespeare is the main author of the island we all live on. It is also the fact that ‘The Tempest’ was written during the plague, but its creators found the strength to keep working.”

The Russian jury was chaired by actress, director and producer Alisa Khazanova who took to stage with Anna Smith to announce the awards for ‘Best foreign film with Russian connection’. “There is a new interest in Russian history and in people who come from the Russian creative environment. It was interesting for me to watch films where there is an attempt to understand and assimilate the space of dialogue between different cultures,” said Khazanova.

Awards Ceremony gathered leading business people, celebrities and film industry elite. Among them were actor Steve Furst who is also one of this year’s judges, directors James Hacking, Tom Lawes and Jake West, actress Simona Brhlikova (Gallowwalkers), actress and director Alisa Khazanova (Middleground, The Woman in Blackand Tale in the Darkness), actress Oksana Akinshina (Lilya 4-Ever, The Bourne Supremacy), writer and scriptwriter Alexander Tsypkin (Netflix series “Anna K”), actress Ieva Andrejevaite (Killing Eve), actress Vera Graziadei (Peep Show, The Deep), and Liz Brewer to name just a few.

Full List of Winners at Golden Unicorn Awards 2021

Unlike some other awards, Golden Unicorn only awards in twelve categories. The original unicorn statuettes made of Bohemian crystal glass, containing 24-carat gold leaf, were given to winners in twelve nominations as follows.

  • Best Film – “Captain Volkonogov Escaped”, by N. Merkulova, A. Chupov;
  • Best Screenplay – “Captain Volkonogov Escaped”, by N. Merkulova, A. Chupov;
  • Best Debut – “Next stop Russia”, by I. Sosnin;
  • Best Short Film – “Promises”, by L. Vlad;
  • Best documentary – “Far Eastern Golgotha”, by Julia Sergina;
  • Best foreign film with a Russian connection: “Bloodsuckers”, directed by Julian Radlmaier;
  • Best foreign documentary – “Bless you”, by T. Chistova (Poland);
  • Best Emerging Talent – Polina Gukhman (“Masha”);
  • Best Actress – Svetlana Khodchenkova (“Another Name”);
  • Best Actor – Yuri Borisov (“Captain Volkonogov Escaped”);
  • Best Animated Film – Secret Magic Control Agency, by A. Tsitsilin;
  • Best Actor in an International Project (The Casting Bridge Award) – Alexander Kuznetsov.
Filip Perkon, Danila Kozlovsky
Filip Perkon, Danila Kozlovsky

Due to the pandemic, no winners came to collect their awards so the audience was spared from speeches. And the soiree continued into the early hours of Monday at The Trafalgar St James Hotel, with yet more fun, performances and making connections.


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Editor in Chief of Ikon London Magazine, journalist, film producer and founder of The DAFTA Film Awards (The DAFTAs).