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Renowned Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky turns 80

August 20, 2017, 0:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Throughout his career, Andrei Konchalovsky has directed more than 20 films

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Andrei Konchalovsky

Andrei Konchalovsky

© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

MOSCOW, August 20. /TASS/. August 20, 2017 marks the 80th birthday of renowned Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky.

Andrei Sergeevich Konchalovsky was born on August 20, 1937 in Moscow. His father is Sergei Mikhalkov, a well-known Soviet writer and poet, author of the texts of hymns of the USSR and the Russian Federation. His mother Natalia Petrovna Konchalovskaya (1903-1988) was a writer, an interpreter. Konchalovsky is the elder brother of Nikita Mikhalkov, who is also a famous film director and an actor.

In the late 1950-s, he studied at the Moscow Conservatory preparing for a pianist’s career but eventually gave up music and entered VGIK (the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography, now the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography). In 1965 he graduated from the directing department of VGIK.

Andrei Konchalovsky's first full-length feature was "The First Teacher," a drama based on the story of Chingiz Aitmatov (1965).

In 1969, Andrei Konchalovsky filmed "A Nest of Gentle Folk" based on the novel by Ivan Turgenev, and in 1970 - "Uncle Vanya" based on Anton Chekhov's play. His epic "Sibiriade" (1979) was favorably received at Cannes.

In 1980, the director left the Soviet Union, lived in France, while retaining Soviet citizenship. Subsequently, Konchalovsky noted in an interview that the reason for his departure abroad was the desire to travel, and not the lack of freedom of creativity.

In 1981, Konchalovsky moved to the United States. He wrote scripts, taught the theory and history of cinematograph at the University of Pepperdine (Malibu, California).

His first American feature "Maria’s Lovers" starring Nastassja Kinski was released in 1983. His most popular Hollywood releases also include "Runaway Train" (1985) and "Tango and Cash" (1989), starring Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

Konchalovsky returned to Russia in the early 1990-s. While making films in Russia he occasionally produced historical films for the US television such as his adaption of "The Odyssey" (1997) and award-winning remake "The Lion in the Winter" based on the play by James Goldman (2003).

Konchalovsky's full-length feature, "House of Fools" (2003), with a cameo role by Canadian pop-rock singer Bryan Adams as himself, set in a Chechen psychiatric asylum during the war, won him a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

His film "The Postman’s White Nights" (2014) won the Silver Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. His latest film to date "Paradise" (2016) won the Silver Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. In total, Konchalovsky made more than 25 films.

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