The 23rd Moscow International Film Festival ended on a high note on June 30th with Jack Nicholson attending the closing ceremony to accept the Stanislavsky Award for lifetime achievement.

The actor who was attending the festival for a special screening of The Pledge dominated the event with a 90 minutes press conference - the only one he has done to support the release of the film - and subsequently attending numerous social gatherings including a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Jury president Margarethe Von Trotta gave out prizes at the closing ceremony. Sundance festival winner The Believer directed by Henry Bean won the grand prix while the special jury prize went to Under The Skin Of The City by Iranian director Rakhshan Bani Etemad. Best director went to Ettore Scola for Unfair Competition. Hungarian director Peter Timar won the FIPRESCI critics' prize for Blind Guys.

While there was no Russian film in the competition, hometown favorite Vladimir Mashkov picked up best actor honours for his role in the English language production The Quickie by Russian director Sergei Bodrov while Rie Miyazawa took home the prize for best actress for her role in Peony Pavilion directed by Yonfan Jingmeng.

With a budget of $4.5 m the festival screened more than 200 features in 12 locations and Muscovites were treated to star attendances that included not only Nicholson but also Woody Harrelson, Sean Penn, Peta Wilson and Sandrine Bonnaire.

For full festival line-up see the Screen Daily archives:

No Room for Russian Films At Moscow Festival (June 8th 2001)