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Russia's Oscar submission

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    Moscow (UNI): Russia's National Selection Committee has decided to present The Ninth Company, a movie about the Soviet war in Afghanistan, for the Oscar competition. Vladimir Menshov, a member of the National Selection Committee told mediapersons Fyoder Bondarchuk's The Ninth Company, featuring the story of an Army unit sent to Afghanistan to fight Mujahideen guerrillas, would compete for the 79th Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. Mr Bondarchuk is one of the first filmmakers to bring to the screen the Soviet Union's controversial military campaign in Afghanistan during 1980s.

    Made with a budget of nine million dollar, it became an instant box-office hit at home, collecting 7.7 million dollar in the first five days after its release in September 2005. The movie beat Pavel Lungin's The Island and twelve other newly-released Russian films in a narrow vote. ''I think the film's submission for the Oscar is only natural, given its record box-office takings,'' RIA Novosti news agency quoted Mr Menshov as saying. Mr Menshov's own feature film ''Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears'' earned him an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film in 1980.

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