MIFF special prize “For an outstanding contribution to the world cinema” is posthumously awarded to Oleg Tabakov

The opening ceremony of the jubilee 40th Moscow International Film Festival was touched by a slight bitter-sweet note. A very special prize – Golden Saint George “For an outstanding contribution to the world cinema” – was awarded posthumously to Oleg Tabakov. The great actor, director and master passed away on March 12th. This is one of those rare occasions when there is no need to resort to tradional phrases about the memory of the person prevailing over their mortal life. The merited artist was widely known and universally loved, and this genuine love of millions of people cannot be forgotten. 
 
Tabakov’s phenomenon is based on the fact that his talent knew no social or cultural boundaries, wasn’t in the lines of “high art” and “popular art”. For ever he is the voice of the beloved animated character Matroskin, as well as probably the last outstanding alumnus of the “great old men” of the Moscow Art Theatre. He is the young man from the frivolous films of the 50s, the polar opposite of the “severe young men” of the older films, and also one of the creators behind the “Sovremennik Theatre”. He is the stylish Schellenberg – and the canonical Oblomov, who is forever a part of national cinema tradition. The great creator and the reformer of theater; the man whose outgoingness, kind-heartedness and warmth were well known to everyone. 
 
The prize was received on the stage by Oleg Tabakov’s son, Pavel – a talented young artist, the successor to the great dynasty. In some way there’s a whole group of people who can be called the “successors of the dynasty”, as Tabakov managed to mentor a stellar pleiad of actors and directors. Their art is once again the incarnation and continuation of Tabakov’s greatness, and another guarantee that in a way he will stay with us forever.