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'Icarus,' film about Russian athlete doping, wins Oscar

HOLLYWOOD CA- MARCH 04  Producer David Fialkow director Dan Cogan producer James R. Swartz and director Bryan Fogel accept Best Documentary Feature for 'Icarus&apos onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hol

The film beat out Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Faces Places, Last Men in Aleppo and Strong Island for the award.

Dear Basketball by former great Kobe Bryant was also an Oscar victor on the evening, picking up the prize for the best animated short.

Icarus director Bryan Fogel accepted the award along with producer Dan Cogan at the Oscars 2018 ceremony held on Sunday in Los Angeles. "We hope Icarus is a wake-up call - yes, about Russian Federation, but more importantly, about telling the truth".

"We dedicate this award to Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, our fearless whistleblower who now lives in grave danger", Fogel said during his appectance speech. Fogel wanted to do a Super Size Me-style documentary of doping himself and then racing an Haute Route cycling event while evading positive tests in order to expose the shortfalls of the World Anti-Doping Agencies testing regime. "It was a no-brainer decision".

Given the film's real-life implications, and the daily news stories about Russian Federation possibly hacking the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, "it's made it hard for me to enjoy the journey of this", Fogel says. He said he remains in fear of his life and under the protection of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Among the other films we've written about on TechCrunch, Blade Runner 2049 won for best cinematography and best visual effects, while The Shape of Water won for best director, best production design, best original score - and the big one, best picture.

The revelations made in the documentary film helped put Russian Federation in the spotlight. Russian track and field athletes were barred from competing at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, and 111 winter athletes were ruled ineligible for the recently completed Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Netflix reportedly paid $5 million to acquire the film. It is available to watch through the Netflix streaming service.