The film “Navalny” was awarded Best Documentary at the 75th Academy Awards. “I would like to dedicate this award to Alexei Navalny and to all political prisoners in the world,” said the film’s director, Daniel Roher, upon accepting the golden Oscar statuette. “Alexei, the world has not forgotten your important message: We must not be afraid to resist dictators and authoritarianism.”

The family of the Russian opposition politician, who has been in prison for more than two years, also attended the award ceremony. His wife, daughter and son appeared on stage to accept the award along with the film crew. “My husband is only in prison for telling the truth. My husband is only in prison for defending democracy,” said his wife Yulia Navalnaya. “Alexej, I dream of the day when you will be free and our country will be free. Hold on, my love!”, she sent a message to her husband while visibly fighting back tears.

Director Roher thanked the politician’s family – but also the Bulgarian investigative journalist Hristo Grosew and Navalny’s comrade-in-arms Maria Pevchikh. “Thank you for your courage. The whole world is with you,” he said.

Grozev, a member of the Bellingcat investigative network team, and Pevchikh, head of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation, were instrumental in uncovering the poisoning of the politician. “Navalny”, the work produced by HBO Max and CNN Films, is about the consequences of the poisoning with the nerve agent Novitshock on the Russian opposition leader.

Roher met the most famous opponent of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in the Black Forest while he was recovering from the attack. The scenes that were created there are at the center of Roher’s documentation. The film was produced under great security precautions and strict secrecy in the Black Forest Studios in Kirchzarten.