Current Time, the 24/7 digital network for Russian speakers globally that is led by RFE/RL in cooperation with Voice of America, continues to receive accolades for many of the documentary films it commissions and features in its programming. Recent examples include:
- Russian filmmaker Vitaly Mansky won the Award for Best Directing at the 2022 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the world’s largest documentary film festival, on November 26 for his latest Current-Time-TV-commissioned documentary, Gorbachev.Heaven.
The festival jury reported that the film, about the Soviet Union’s last leader, 89-year-old Mikhail Gorbachev, delivered “a vivid picture of a man who changed the world” that is sometimes “tender,” sometimes “even humorous.” Both Mansky’s questioning of Gorbachev about his memories of pivotal events and the portrayal of the ex-Soviet leader “alone and vulnerable in his diminished surroundings” showed an “outstanding directorial hand,” it noted.
The film, produced together with ARTE France and Czech Public Television, was also screened in November at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and was presented before sold-out audiences in Moscow’s Oktyabr Cinema on December 3 and 11 as part of the Artdocfest documentary film festival.
Vitaly Mansky is also a host of Current Time TV’s Real Cinema program, a global movie theater for the digital age that each week brings viewers the best, the most important, and most noteworthy international festival winners, premieres, personal stories, and films that cannot be seen in their countries of production
- A Song Entitled 328, a film about Belarus’ war on drugs, directed by Belarusian filmmaker [and RFE/RL Belarus Service correspondent] Alaksandra Dynko, won an Audience Choice Award at its world premiere at the WATCHDOCS Belarus International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.
- Hey! Teachers!, a documentary film by Russian filmmaker Yulia Vishnevets about Russia’s regional education system won the country’s Laurel Branch National TV & Documentary Film Award for Best Documentary Feature Film. Vasily Kharitonov, a protagonist in the documentary, also won The Aleksandr Rastorguyev prize at St. Petersburg’s Message to Man International Film Festival, for "courage in the search for truth."
- The Coach - a documentary by Current Time producer Olga Abramchik about the coach of a Belarusian team of blind soccer players won the award for Best International Film at Kyrgyzstan’s Bir Duino International Human Rights Documentary Festival.
Hey! Teachers!, as well as The Earth Is Blue As An Orange, the award-winning Current Time TV documentary by Ukrainian filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk, were also selected for showing at IDFA, as part of the festival’s Best of Fests program, which showcases “both audience favorites and award-winning masterpieces” that represent “the irreplaceable work of film festivals today.”