Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised Oscar-winning Hollywood director Oliver Stone, commenting in favorable terms on his recently released The Putin Interviews, The Hollywood Reporter said.
The news came as organizers unveiled Monday, July 24, that Stone is set to collect the Sarajevo Film Festival's Heart of Sarajevo Award next month.
"I mostly liked Oliver Stone himself," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Interfax. "He is an unusual and very profound person and a very balanced and comfortable interlocutor."
According to Putin, he hasn't yet had an opportunity to watch the entire interview series. "I'm sure that Oliver Stone is a very decent person, and he didn't distort anything," Putin said. "In what I have watched so far, which is about one part and a half, everything is totally correct."
That was the first time Putin has commented on Stone. Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had said the director was "talented and unpredictable when it comes to creative expression."
The four-part The Putin Interviews premiered on Showtime on June 12 and aired on Russia's state-run Channel One starting June 19.
Meanwhile, Stone will have an opportunity to talk more about his conversations with Putin next month when the 23rd edition of the Sarajevo Film Festival honors him with its Heart of Sarajevo Award. The honorary award is given to people who have made an "extraordinary contribution to the art of film."
Announcing the award Monday, the festival, based in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, noted that Stone has written and directed over 20 full-length features, including such "iconic films" as Platoon, Natural Born Killers, Nixon and Snowden, about NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden who remains in Moscow after seeking asylum in Russia.
Previous Heart of Sarajevo honorees include actor Gael Garcia Bernal, Oscar-winning No Man's Land director Danis Tanovic and British director Mike Leigh.