70 Directors for Venice 70
Director and screenwriter, he was born in 1966 near Orenburg. He made his debut as a director in 2002 with the intense David, winner of many awards and presented at many film festivals, including the Anthropological Film Festival in Salekhard (second prize winner) and the films festivals in Stockholm (Grand Prize), Ljubljana (Grand Prize) and Warsaw (second prize). His first feature-length film, the docu-fiction Pervye na lune (First on the Moon, 2005), a fictional epic about the Soviet race to the Moon in the 1930’s, participated in the 62nd Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Orizzonti prize as Best Documentary; the film also won awards at the Sochi Film Festival and at Cottbus. In 2005 he founded the “29th February” production company, with which he produced the feature-length film Zheleznaya doroga (The Railway, 2006) and the documentary films Shosho (2007) and Veter Šuvgej (2008), in which he began his unusual personal research into the various ethnic groups of the former Soviet Union. He explored this issue in greater depth, sometimes choosing to make fiction films, such as Ovsyanki (Silent Souls, 2010), inspired by the novel by Denis Osokin and winner of an Osella for Best Cinematography at the 67th Venice Film Festival: the plot tells the story of a man who asked his best friend to help him say his final goodbye to his dead wife, in the tradition of the Merya culture, an ancient Finno-Ugric tribe from the Black lake, a picturesque region of central-western Russia. His latest film Nebesnye zheny lugovykh mari (Celestial Wives of Meadow Mari, 2012), was presented at the Rome Film Festival and at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
2005 – Pervye na Lune (First on the Moon) – Orizzonti (director)
2010 – Ovsyanki (Silent Souls) – In Competition (director)
2005 – Pervye na Lune (First on the Moon) – Premio Orizzonti Doc
2010 – Ovsyanki (Silent Souls) – Osella for Best Cinematography
2006 – Jury Corto Cortissimo
2011 – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Prize for Best Debut Film