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'Geograf' Picks Up Top Russian Film Award

"The Geographer Drank His Globe Away" follows an unemployed and alcoholic biologist, played by Konstantin Khabensky.

Alexander Veledinsky's "Geograf Globus Propil" was the big winner at this year's Nika awards for Russian film, picking up a bundle of the top awards.

The Nika, an annual Russian film award named after the Roman goddess for victory Nike, awarded prizes to the best movies of 2013 in a ceremony at the Moscow Operetta Theater, including a best picture prize for "Geograf."

The film, based on a novel by Alexei Ivanov, follows an unemployed and alcoholic biologist, played by Konstantin Khabensky, who takes up work as a high school geography teacher in the Ural city of Perm amid a disintegrating personal life.

"Geograf Globus Propil," which roughly translates as "The Geographer Drank His Globe Away," also picked up Nikas for best director as well as acting awards for the male and female leads, Khabensky and Yelena Lyadova. It had previously won numerous awards at the Golden Eagles, a competing ceremony roughly akin to the Golden Globes.

While "Geograf" received heaps of critical praise, it was not selected as Russia's entry into the Best Foreign Film category at this year's Academy Awards. The 3D IMAX blockbuster war movie "Stalingrad" was selected instead, though it did not make the shortlist for the prize, which was won by the Italian film "The Great Beauty."

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