Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mikhalkov Wins Venice Prize for '12'

ReutersDirector Nikita Mikhalkov attending a photocall for his latest movie, "12," at the Venice film festival on Friday.
Director Nikita Mikhalkov won a special award at the Venice film festival last weekend for his film "12," a Chechen-themed remake of Sidney Lumet's "12 Angry Men."

Mikhalkov's movie tells of 12 jurors who must decide the fate of a Chechen teenager charged with murdering his stepfather, an officer in the Russian army. Though all but one are convinced of the youth's guilt, the single skeptical juror forces the others to discuss the case, slowly uncovering their personal stories and the emotional involvement behind their decision.

Mikhalkov stressed that "12" was not a commentary on the Kremlin's policies in Chechnya, although the boy's story is told through scenes recreating vicious battles between federal troops and separatist guerrillas.

"We are not really speaking about Chechnya in this film," he told reporters Friday. "These people are judging this young boy, but the viewers can see the way in which this boy has grown up and what he had to go through in life."

The film stars Sergei Makovetsky and Sergei Garmash.

Mikhalkov, who also stars in "12," beamed when he was presented with the Special Lion for overall work at the awards ceremony Saturday night.

"Grazie, grazie. I want to thank the magnificent Russian artists that worked with me. ... Italy has always been very generous to me and I'll always be very grateful," he said. Mikhalkov won the Golden Lion in 1991 in Venice for "Urga" and an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1994 with "Burnt by the Sun."

The top award Saturday went to director Ang Lee's spy thriller "Lust, Caution," while Brian De Palma took the Silver Lion for best director in "Redacted." (Reuters, AP, MT)