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KUMIR Actor’s Prize was established in 1997 by business leaders Mikhail and Marina Nikolayev and playwright Emile Braginsky. Their initiative was driven by the desire to recognize excellence in acting and to attract public attention to the latest developments in the field of theatre, cinema and television. The undertaking was supported both by business elite and art establishment. First KUMIR Prize awards ceremony has taken place on November 22, 1997. Founders and main sponsors were Unibest bank and Nasta insurance company.


In compliance with strong Russian patronage tradition, KUMIR Prize not only celebrates the achievements of renowned personalities, but also seeks to support younger and promising actors.


Amongst the organisers of the Prize are famous actor Alexei Batalov, writer Vladimir Voinovitch and also many influential art and business personalities.


Up to 2009 the Prize has been awarded based on a vote of Public Jury which included leading Russian businessmen and indusirialists. The list of nominees was submitted by the Expert Council formed by film and theatre directors, writers, critics and journalists.


Throughout the years the Public Jury included representatives of the leading Russian companies: “Alpha-Bank”, “Promstroybank”, “Lukoil”, “RAO UES of Russia”, “Sibneft”, “Russian Gold” companies, “Spasskie Vorota” insurance company, “Ingosstrakh”, “Aeroflot”, “Mobile TeleSystems”, Moscow Metro, “Red October” confectionary factory, Wimm Bill Dann foods, “Eksmo” and “Vagrius” publishing houses.


Today's Prize nominations are following: «Idol of the Year» (with best movie actress/actor and best theatre actress/actor subnominations), «Special Achievement» and «Hope of the Year» (for younger actors). There is also a Special Prize of Organizing Committee.


From 2009 on the Prize is being awarded based on the results of online voting.


Every Prize winner is presented with the specially designed golden star and a cheque for  € 20 000. Winners in the Special Achievement nomination are being awarded with € 30 000.


The list of Prize winners include Oleg Yankovsky, Konstantine Raykin, Tatiana Vasileva, Alla Demidova, Oleg Menshikov, Eugene Mironov, Chulpan Khamatova and many other celebrated russian actors.