The Nika Award is the main annual national film award in Russia, held by the Russian Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences which was established in 1987 in Moscow by Yuli Gusman, and ostensibly modelled on the Academy Awards (Oscars). Russian Academy Award takes its name from Nike, the goddess of victory. Accordingly, the prize is modelled after the sculpture of the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
At first the awards were judged by all the members of the Union of Filmmakers. In the early 1990s, a special academy, consisting of over 500 academicians, was elected for distributing the awards which recognize outstanding achievements in cinema (not television) produced in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In 2002 Nikita Mikhalkov established the competing Golden Eagle Award modelled on the Golden Globe Awards as it honors both film and television production of Russia.
- Russia's Aleksandr Proshkin won Best Picture for The Cold Summer of 1953, but other winners included films produced decades earlier and suppressed by Soviet censorship. For example, Alfred Schnittke won Best Music for the 1967 film Commissar, and Andron Konchalovsky was named Best Director for Asya Klyachina's Story, also filmed in 1967.
- Armenia's Sergei Parajanov took 4 awards including Best Picture and Best Director for his "Ashik Kerib".
- Ukraine's Kira Muratova won Best Picture for The Asthenic Syndrome, while Stanislav Govorukhin was named Best Director for We Can't Live Like This. Innokenty Smoktunovsky took the award as Best Actor.
- Eldar Ryazanov's The Promised Heaven triumphed at the last all-Soviet ceremony, taking the awards for Best Picture and Best Directing. Oleg Yankovsky and Inna Churikova were named Best Actor and Best Actress.
- Pyotr Todorovsky, a veteran filmmaker, won Best Picture for Encore, Once More Encore!. Nikita Mikhalkov was named Best Director for Urga (Close to Eden) and Mikhail Vartanov won the Best Documentary Film for Parajanov: The Last Spring. Vadim Yusov was named Best Cinematographer for Georgi Daneliya's Pasport.
- Vladimir Khotinenko won Best Picture for Makarov. Vadim Yusov was named Best Cinematographer for Ivan Dykhovichny's Prorva.
- Kira Muratova triumphed again, taking the awards for Best Picture and Best Directing for Passions. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Sergei Gerasimov's widow, Tamara Makarova.
- Aleksandr Rogozhkin won Best Picture and Best Director for comedy Peculiarities of the National Hunt.
- Sergei Bodrov won Best Picture and Best Director for Prisoner of the Mountains. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Georgy Zhzhonov.
- Aleksei Balabanov won Best Picture for Of Freaks and Men. Otar Ioseliani was named Best Director for Brigands-Chapter VII
- Aleksei German won Best Picture and Best Director for Khrustalyov, My Car!.
Mikhail Ulyanov was named Best Actor for The Rifleman of the Voroshilov Regiment.
Valeriy Priyomykhov won Best Screenplay for the Who, If Not Us
- Aleksei Uchitel won Best Picture for His Wife's Diary. Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov was named Best Director for Luna Papa. The Life Achievement Award was presented to Vyacheslav Tikhonov.
- Alexander Sokurov won Best Picture and Best Director for Taurus. The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Aleksei Batalov.
- Aleksandr Rogozhkin again won Best Picture and Best Director for The Cuckoo. Oleg Yankovsky was again named Best Actor.
- Andrey Zvyagintsev won Best Picture for Vozvrashcheniye. Vadim Abdrashitov was named Best Director, and Inna Churikova again won the award as Best Actress. The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Pyotr Todorovsky.
- Dmitry Meskhiev won Best Picture for Our Own, while Kira Muratova was named Best Director for The Tuner. Bogdan Stupka was named Best Actor, and Alla Demidova took the award as Best Actress. Eduard Artemyev was awarded for Best Music. The Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Vadim Yusov and Nonna Mordyukova.
- Fyodor Bondarchuk won Best Picture for The 9th Company, while Aleksei German Jr was named Best Director for Garpastum. Yevgeny Mironov and Alisa Freindlikh were honored as Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively. Marlen Khutsiev was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Pavel Lungin won Best Picture and Best Director for The Island. Pyotr Mamonov and Viktor Sukhorukov took the awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for their parts in this film. Fyodor Khitruk received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Sergey Bodrov won Best Film and Best Director for Mongol. Sergey Garmash was named Best Actor for Nikita Mikhalkov's 12, and Leonid Bronevoy was named Best Supporting Actor. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Georgi Daneliya.
- Valery Todorovsky won Best Picture for Hipsters. Aleksei German Jr was named Best Director for Paper Soldier. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Aleksei German Sr.
- Andrei Khrzhanovsky won Best Picture for Room and a Half. The Best Actress Award was won by Svetlana Kryuchkova for her role in Bury Me Behind the Baseboard, and the Best Actor Award was won by Vladimir Ilyin for his role in Ward No. 6 and posthumously by Oleg Yankovsky for his roles in Anna Karenina and Tsar.
- Alexei Uchitel won Best Picture for The Edge. Alexei Popogrebski was named Best Director for How I Ended This Summer.
- Andrei Smirnov won Best Picture for Once Upon a Time There Lived a Simple Woman. Andrey Zvyagintsev - Best Director for Elena.