The non-profit Russian National Movie Awards “Georges” is unique being the first movie award in Russia founded by a blogging community. It is based on the voting of ordinary viewers instead of movie industry specialists.
The award was established in 2005 by movie journalists and bloggers. Today professional team makes Georges Awards: President of the Awards Olga Belik, Petr Zaytsev, Andrey Rusanov, Marianna Veimann, Maria Bezenkova and Dariia Rusanova. It was started as a regular voting in kinoclub community, but immediately after the first results there came an idea to create an award on the analogy with the People’s Choice Awards. The prize was invented at the same time — matryoshka as the popular symbol of Russia.
The purpose of the awards is to give a wide audience a chance to vote for favorite movies and actors, and make a connection between audience, filmmakers and distributors.
The award is named as a tribute to Georges Méliès, the pioneer of special effects in film. We thought that the astonishing personality of Georges Méliès reflects in the best way both the uniqueness of our award and the progressive technologies. Besides, the name Georges resonates with the Russian abbreviation of LiveJournal — GG (ЖЖ), where the awards was started. Now the awards has left the frames of the LiveJournal — it has got its own ground in the Runet and is open for voting to members of any social networks. But the name Georges has been kept. It adds personification and “humanity” to the award and allows to make comparisons with other awards like Oscar or Cesar.
Our voting consists of two stages. At first voters choose their nominees in each category. It is possible to suggest several variants in every nomination, but under one condition: movies should have been released in Russia during the year. Originally there were three variants, but since 2010 viewers can choose five. Then a shortlist is created and the second stage begins, when all who wish receive an opportunity to choose a winner of five finalists in all the categories.
In 2007 the awards left the boundaries of Internet-voting. It was decided to start a ceremony — it took place in Moscow Bilingua club on March, 13. Among its famous guests there were a director Mikhail Khleborodov and a friend and a colleague of Johnny Depp — a musician Bill Hanti. Bill received “Georges” awards for Johnny, who won in the category Best Foreign Actor with envious persistence four years in a row. And in August, 2008, Bill passed all the awards to the actor. Thus, Johnny Depp became the first foreign actor who received “Georges” awards — moreover, this award was the first prize for Depp from Russia.
The ceremony drew a wide response in the blogosphere. Its members point out that the idea of their awards and of direct participation in the voting is close to them. They perceive “Georges” as something to what they have a personal attitude and what they create with their own hands — users’ loyalty to the awards and ceremony is very high: it is a unique their Oscar. The constant members of voting tenderly call the award as Georgik (little Georges), which makes it more informal.
In 2009 the second ceremony took place in Moscow — it was held on April, 15, in the IKRA club. The representatives of film distributors, a famous director-animator Garri Bardin, directors Pavel Sanayev and Fyodor Bondarchuk, actors Pyotr Fyodorov, Yuliya Snigir, Mikhail Evlanov and others became its guests. Foreign laureates were absent at the ceremony for obvious reasons, though in May, 2009, the editor of Kinopoisk portal Tatyana Shorokhova met Christian Bale in Paris and passed him the “Georges” as Best Foreign Actor of 2008.
The third Georges awarding ceremony took place on March 31, 2010, in Moscow — in the large hall of 35 mm film theater. It had “a movie market for audience” principle: distribution companies, when receiving the awards, showed exclusive trailers or episodes from movies, which were only prepared for release, to the public. Apart from distributors’ representatives there were actors Ekaterina Guseva, Aleksey Frandetti, Kirill Pletnev, Pavel Priluchnyy, Aleksey Bardukov, director Pavel Sanayev, producer Dmitriy Rudovskiy and many others at the ceremony. The western laureates received their awards by mail, but due to developed heart-warming tradition the KinoPoisk portal managed to pass one prize to the winner personally: the portal’s editor-in-chief Mikhail Klochkov met Johnny Depp in Paris and handed him the honorary Simply The Best award.
The 4th Georges awarding ceremony took place on April 10, 2011 at Moscow art-café “Durov”. This time ceremony had professional hosts — actors Aleksey Frandetti and Ekaterina Vilkova. Aleksey wrote scenario for ceremony. Ivan Burlyaev wrote music specially for ceremony. Distributors once again presented exclusive footages for the audience. Almost every winners were on ceremony: from “Kvartet I” to Nonna Grishaeva. Actors Anastasiya Makeyeva, Ilya Glinnikov, Renata Piotrovski, Dmitriy Sharakois, Agniya Kuznetsova, Ingrid Olerinskaya, Pyotr Fyodorov, Evgeniy Tkachuk, Prokhor Chekhovskoy and Mariya Ivashenko presenting the awards, so did directors Pavel Sanaev, Andrei Kavun, Dmitriy Kiselev.
Georges 2012 had small, but important changes. We got rid of the word Internet and became Russian National Movie Awards. So we totally came out of one social network and image of Bloggers Awards. Internet became part of our life long ago and any Russian-spoken spectator has a chance to vote for his Favorite Movie or Actor.
The 5th Georges awarding ceremony took place on April 15, 2012 at Moscow club “P!PL”. We’ve got three women hosts with our permanent host Aleksey Frandetti: actresses Svetlana Ivanova, Anna Sherling and Valeriya Lanskaya. Traditionally we showed exclusive trailers or episodes from movies, which were only prepared for release, to the public. Actors and actresses Renata Piotrovski, Sofya Skya, Nonna Grishaeva, Prokhor Chekhovskoy, “Kvartet I” were among ceremony guests and presenters with directors and producers Aleksandr Kott, Levan Gabriadze, Arman Yahin, Andrey Smirnov, Alexander Rodnyansky and Fyodor Bondarchuk.
The 6th Georges awarding ceremony took place on April 12, 2013 at Moscow club “P!PL”. It was Cosmonauts Day in Russia so ceremony was held in space movie style. Star Wars troopers from Russian Outpost of 501 Legion (Lucasfilm voluntary organization) walked around among guests. Hosts Aleksey Frandetti and Valeriya Lanskaya were in costumes of Spock and Princess Leia. Yan Filyarovskiy played music with YAN Project and PULVER band with Ekaterina Titova. Dariia Rusanova sang live Skyfall composition while organizing committee presented new nominations for next year. Traditionally we showed exclusive trailers or episodes from movies, which were only prepared for release, to the public: 8 minutes from Viy 3D become small sensation. Actors and actresses Renata Piotrovski, Ilya Glinnikov, Pavel Priluchnyy, Vladimir Zelenskiy, Garik Kharlamov, Lyanka Gryu, Liza Arzamasova, Prokhor Chekhovskoy, were among ceremony guests and presenters with directors and producers Aleksandr Kott, and Igor Ugolnikov. At April 10 Robert Downey Jr. visited Moscow with Iron Man 3 press-tour and has got two of his Georges Awards — for 2012 and 2013.
The Russian National Movie Awards “Georges” can be justly considered as a people’s choice. It is a unique link in communication between viewers and cinematographers, and we sincerely think that the two sides get both satisfaction and use from this!