Life and career
Andrei Nekrasov studied acting and directing at the "Russian State Institute of Performing Arts" in his native Saint Petersburg. He studied comparative literature and philosophy at the University of Paris, taking a master's degree, and film at Bristol University Film School. In 1985, he assisted Andrei Tarkovsky during the filming and editing of The Sacrifice. Nekrasov then made several internationally coproduced documentaries and TV arts programs (notably A Russia of One's Own, Pasternak, The Prodigal Son, and Children's Stories: Chechnya). His first drama short, Springing Lenin (1993) won the UNESCO prize at the Cannes Film Festival that year, and in 1997 his first feature, Love is as Strong as Death won the FIPRESCI prize at Mannheim-Heidelberg. The director’s second feature, Lubov and Other Nightmares (2001) won recognition at a great many of festivals all over the world (including Sundance and Berlin) and confirmed his status as a rebel among Russian filmmakers.
Andrei Nekrasov is also a playwright and a theater director. His German productions (of his own plays) include: Der Spieler ("The Gambler") in Euro Theater Central in Bonn and Koenigsberg in the Volksbuehne Theatre in Berlin.
Nekrasov's 2007 film, Rebellion: the Litvinenko Case (U.S. Title: Poisoned by Pollonium. The Litvinenko File) presents interviews with assassinated former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko and journalist Anna Politkovskaya. The movie contends that Russian state security service FSB, the successor agency to the KGB, organized bombings of apartments in Moscow and taking hostages in a Moscow theater to justify the second war in Chechnya and bring Vladimir Putin to power. The film was premiered in the official selection of Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
His films include the documentary Disbelief (Недоверие) on the 1999 Russian apartment bombings. This film is available in DVD as an extra to Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case, but a low resolution version is available on Google Video.
"Russian Lessons, co-directed and produced by his wife Olga Konskaya and Norwegian Producer Torstein Grude deals with the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. It documents a journey by two directors-protagonists, Olga Konskaya and Andrei Nekrasov, one on each side of the frontline during the hostilities. For this documentary, Nekrasov was named The Person of 2009 in the Georgian Public Broadcaster's internet survey.
In 2011 Nekrasov received an Oxfam Novib/PEN Award.
In 2012 Nekrasov released "Farewell Comrades!" a six-part documentary series on the last phase of communism in Eastern Europe, produced for ARTE, YLE and many other European networks by Artline Films (France) and Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion (Germany). Nekrasov received the GRIMME Award 2013 for "Farewell Comrades!"
In the autumn of 2015 Al Jazeera English broadcast "In Search of Putin's Russia", a four-part documentary series made by Nekrasov in collaboration with British film-maker Melanie Anstey which explored the attitudes of ordinary Russians towards Vladimir Putin and the country's recent history.
Nekrasov's film "Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes", produced by Piraya Film and supported by a number of European film funds and TV networks, caused a major controversy. One of the film's allegations is that western politicians and media were misled by William Browder, a U.S. born investor and campaigner, into believing that the Russian tax consultant Sergei Magnitsky had been persecuted and killed for exposing corruption. Browder fiercely disputed the film's conclusions and threatened the film's producers and funders with lawsuits. "The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes" was nominated for Prix Europa 2016, and was awarded a Special Commendation for coming second of 21 nominations from all over Europe in the documentary section. Jury Citation:
There are only few films that successfully master the art of delusion and persuasion, leaving the audience amazed and bewildered. Through subtle storytelling and a skilful mixture of fiction and hard facts, the film takes the viewer for a journalistic investigation into the world of international financial fraud. The director puts together the complex evidence by letting the audience be witness to his thoughts, speculations and disclosures. A challenging, intelligent and moving piece of work!
- 2016 The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes, documentary, Piraya Film, Norway
- 2015 In Search of Putin's Russia, TV, documentary, Al Jazeera English.
- 2012 Farewell, Comrades!, TV, documentary, 6x52 min, ARTE, France/Germany.
- 2011 Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union. - Documentary, based on the book by David Satter.
- 2010 Russian Lessons, Documentary.
- 2007 Rebellion: the Litvinenko Case, 113 min, Documentary, Premiere: Festival de Cannes 2007
- 2007 My Friend Sasha: A Very Russian Murder, documentary on Alexander Litvinenko (BBC Two Storyville, 22 January 2007)
- 2004 Disbelief, Feature documentary, Russia-USA (Watch Free on Google Video)
- 2002 Koenigsberg, Docudrama, Russia-Germany
- 2001 Lubov and Other Nightmares, Feature, Russia-Germany
- 2000 Children’s Stories, Chechnya, documentary, Vanessa Redgrave and Dreamscanner, UK-Russia
- 1997 Love is as strong as Death, Feature
- 1993 Springing Lenin, British Film Institute - BBC
- 1991 The Prodigal Son, BBC-La Sept-ZDF, UK-France-Germany
- 1990 Pasternak, ITV-WDR, UK-Germany-Russia
- 1989 Raising the Curtain, TV, documentary, 25 min, Channel 4
- 1987 A Russia of One's Own, Channel 4
Prizes and awards
- 1987 - Channel 4’s sole nomination for the Prix Italia (A Russia of One's Own, 1987)
- 1993 - Cannes Film Festival UNESCO Prize 1993 (Springing Lenin, 1993)
- 1997 - FIPRESCI Prize at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival (Love is as strong as Death, 1997) 'For the sharp moral and social perspective and the strong, expressive visual language which characterise the film’s view of contemporary reality.'
- 1997 - Special Jury Prize (Kinotavr), Russian International Film Festival (Love is as strong as Death)
- 2001 - Special Jury Prize, Moscow International Film Festival (Lubov and Other Nightmares, 2001) "for the innovative film language".
- 2001 - Best Lead Female Award (Kinotavr), Russian International Film Festival (Lubov and Other Nightmares)
- 2001 - Nominated for Golden Aries Award – all Russian film critics prize (Lubov and Other Nightmares, 2001)
- 2004 - Special Mention from the Amnesty Jury, Cph:dox, Copenhagen (Disbelief, 2004)
- 2005 - Best Documentary Award, Karachi International Film Festival (Disbelief, 2004)
- 2008 - Rudolf Vrba Award for "Rebellion. The Litvinenko Case". One World Film Festival, Prague
- 2011 - Oxfam Novib/PEN Award
- 2010 - Golden Chair Best Documentary for "Russian Lessons", Grimstad, Norway
- 2013 - Grimme Award for "Farewell, Comrades!", Germany
- 2016 - Prix Europa Special Commendation for "Magnitsky Act - Behind the Scenes"
- Litvinenko `Rebellion' Poses Awkward Questions Cannes Roundup – Iain Millar, Bloomberg, 27 May 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-27.
- Andrei Nekrasov Leading in Survey 'Person of 2009' Archived October 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. The Georgian Times. December 31, 2009
- "From Russia, not always with love". Al Jazeera English. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
- About Russian Lawyer’s Death Creates an Uproar – Mark Landler, NYTimes, June 9 2016. Retrieved on 2016-06-10.
- "THE PRIX EUROPA 2016 WINNERS". Prix Europa. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
- http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/06/16/russias-plot-to-smear-magnitsky/ (William Browder interview)
- http://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-really-killed-sergei-magnitsky-16612?page=show (THE NATIONAL INTEREST on the film and its background)
- http://nationalinterest.org/feature/response-william-browder-16654 (Response to William Browder)
- Russian Lessons at the Internet Movie Database
- Storyville series editor on the film.Retrieved on 2007-07-29.
- "Human rights ambassador presents PEN award to Russian filmmaker and journalist". Government of the Netherlands. January 20, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- Russian Lessons (official website)
- Disbelief (official website)
- Andrei Nekrasov at the Internet Movie Database
- Dreamscanner Productions
- Nekrasov's letter from the bedside of his poisoned friend Alexander Litvinenko
- Political prisoners are Russia's real elite Nekrasov's article.