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'Navalny' win also was first Oscar ever to go CNN's way

CNN has scored its first Oscars win: 'Navalny', the harrowing film that follows the Russian dissident and former presidential candidate, Alexei Navalny.

CNN has scored its first Oscars win: ‘Navalny’, the harrowing film that follows the Russian dissident and former presidential candidate, Alexei Navalny. It took the prize for documentary feature film at the 95th Academy Awards, reports ‘Variety’. The documentary, directed by Daniel Roher, gained new relevance after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The CNN Films/Warner Bros. documentary, according to ‘Variety’, is a fly-on-the-wall account of the rousing populist who was once a presidential candidate — and posed such a threat to Putin that he was poisoned in a botched assassination plot ordered by the Kremlin in 2020.

Navalny was detained in January 2021 and is serving a nine-year sentence in a Russian gulag. He has spent much of the sentence in solitary confinement.

Roher, while accepting the award, dedicated the Oscar win to Navalny and “to all political prisoners around the world”, notes ‘Variety’.

He said: “Alexei, the world has not forgotten your vital message to us all … We must not be afraid to oppose dictators and authoritarianism wherever it rears its head.”

Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s wife who appeared on stage with Roher, said: “My husband is in prison just for telling the truth. My husband is in prison just for defending democracy. Alexei, I am dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free. Stay strong, my love.”

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