Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill presented the Alexy II Award to Serbian director Emir Nemanja Kusturica at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow on Thursday for his work in spreading and strengthening the unity between Othodox nations.

Named after Patriarch Alexy II, the prize is the most prestigious award in the Orthodox world.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians, and the U.S.-based St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary were also given the award “For Outstanding Activities in Strengthening the Unity of Orthodox Nations and for Establishing and Promoting Christian Values in Society”.

The award traditionally honors heads of state, government officials, parliament representatives, Patriarchs of Orthodox Churches, and major public figures for their contribution to the improvement of economic and political relations between states that have historically been formed in the context of the Eastern Christian tradition and for the promotion of Christian morals in the Orthodox community.