DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - 2007
With an exceptional combination of chutzpah and charm, Garri Urban's life story is as incredible as it is real, featuring escape, adventure and triumph. Critically acclaimed on its release, the film was nominated for the BIFAs, Griersons, and won many international awards.
Garri Urban was a survivor – not a victim – of both the Holocaust and Gulag. Born in the shtetl (the Jewish rural community) in 1916, he overcame adversity through a mixture of charm, aggression, and chutzpah. His 1980 autobiographical account of his adventures took its title from when he was shot during his attempt to swim across an icy river from Soviet territory to Romania. He told the snipers who stooped to lift his apparently lifeless body; “no, tovarisch (comrade), I’m not dead” before striking their officer.
The Accolade Film Awards, USA 2007 Award of Excellence & Honorable Mention
Raindance Film Festival, UK 2007 Best Documentary Nomination
Shortlisted Grierson Awards, UK 2008
Dialektus Festival, Hungary 2008 “Special Mention”
Punto De Vista Film Festival, Spain 2008 Audience Award for Best Film
New York Festivals -Film & Video Trophy, USA 2008 Silver World Medal, Biography
Biografilm Festival, Italy June 6 2007 Lancia Award as Best Film
Saratov Sufferings Festivals, Saratov 2008, Russia Special Audience Award
The theatrical documentary, Tovarisch I Am Not Dead (www.tovarisch.net), had an award-winning tour of festivals worldwide before its UK arthouse release in 2008, supported by the UK Film Council. The film is one of the few UK documentaries on sales in iTunes.