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Andrei Konchalovsky honored in Tallinn

At the press conference for his latest film Sin.

Director, screenwriter and producer Andrei Konchalovsky has enjoyed equally distinguished directing careers for both the stage and screen. His best-known film credits range from international pictures such as 'Uncle Vanya', based on the Chekhov play and regarded as one of the best Russian films, and 'House of Fools', a Russian-French co-production about an asylum along the Russian-Chechnya border, to such popular English language fare as 'Runaway Train', which earned three Academy Award® nominations, 'Maria's Lovers', 'Duet for One' and 'Shy People'.

He has earned acclaim for such landmark television epics as 'The Odyssey', for which he won an Emmy Award as best director, and 'Lion in Winter', which received a Golden Globe Award for costumes, as well as multiple Emmy awards and nominations.

Born in Moscow, Konchalovsky studied music in his youth, becoming a skilled pianist, before enrolling in the cinema program at VGIK - the major state film school, where he studied under Mikhail Romm. His debut feature film, 'The First Teacher', based on the book by Chingis Aitmatov, concerned post-1917 southern Russia. His subsequent films include 'The Story of Asya Klyachina', which was held back from release until 1988 because of government censorship, and received the Russian academy award for best picture, 'A Nest of Gentry', 'Romance for Lovers', and 'Siberiade', a realistic portrayal of the lives of the people of Siberia which earned international acclaim and brought him to the attention of American and European producers. This led him to such mainstream Hollywood projects as 'Tango & Cash' and 'Homer & Eddie'.

For the stage, Konchalovsky has directed numerous opera and theatrical production across Europe and the US, including 'King Lear' in Poland, 'Miss Julie' and Chekhov's 'The Seagull' in Russia, 'War and Peace' at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, 'Oedipus at Colonus' in Italy, and 'Queen of Spades' and 'Eugene Onegin' at La Scala in Italy, the latter which was also staged in Paris.

Early in his career he used a double surname and was credited as Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky. Later he adopted his mother's maiden name to distinguish himself from his younger brother, Nikita Mikhalkov, himself an accomplished director. Indeed, his entire family is artistic: his great-grandfather, grandfather and mother are celebrated poets, and his father is a noted playwright.

2010 marked the release of Andrei Konchalovsky's much-anticipated cinematic adaptation of the traditional fairy tale, 'The Nutcracker in 3D'. This musical CGI-spectacular featured Elle Fanning in the role of little Mary, as well as Nathan Lane, Richard E Grant and John Turturro in the principal roles. Lyrics were provided by Academy Award® winner Sir Tim Rice. In the same year, Konchalovsky also featured in, 'Hitler in Hollywood', a bio-doc about Micheline Presle which evolves into a thrilling investigation of the long-hidden truth behind European cinema. This mockumentary thriller uncovers Hollywood's unsuspected plot against the European motion picture industry. The film won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and picked up a Crystal Globe nomination in July, 2010.

In 2012, Konchalovsky wrote, directed and produced 'The Battle for Ukraine', which provided an in-depth analysis of how the Ukraine to this day struggles to escape from the close embrace of its former big brother, Russia. This extensive study lasted for almost three years and involved an array of Ukrainian, Russian and American historians, politicians and journalists, as well as the ex-President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski, the ex-President of Slovakia Rudolf Schuster, the ex-President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, the ex-Prime Minister of Russia Viktor Chernomyrdin, and the businessman Boris Berezovsky.

2013, saw Konchalovsky co-produce a story previously untold on film. Film-maker Margy Kinmonth invited HRH The Prince of Wales to make a journey through history to celebrate the artistic gene in his family and reveal an extraordinary treasure trove of work by royal hands past and present, many of whom were accomplished artists. Set against the spectacular landscapes of the Royal Estates and containing insights into works by members of The Royal Family down the centuries and The Prince of Wales's own watercolours, 'Royal Paintbox' explores a colourful palette of intimate family memory and observation.

In 2014, Konchalovsky was awarded a Silver Lion at the 71st Venice Film Festival for 'The Postman's White Nights', the true story of Aleksey Tryaptisyn, a real-life postman based in a remote Russian village surrounding the Kenozero lake. Andrei directed, produced and co-wrote the script for the film with Elena Kiseleva.

In 2016, Konchalovsky returned to the Venice Film Festival with 'Paradise,' the compelling story of three individuals, whose paths cross amidst the devastation of World War II. The film, again directed and produced by Konchalovsky with a screenplay co-written with Elena Kiseleva, went on to win another Silver Lion for the acclaimed filmmaker, during the festival's 73rd edition.

Konchalovsky's latest opus, Italian language epic 'Il Peccato (Sin)' is a gripping tale of the agony and ecstasy of individual greatness, following the life of Michelangelo as he struggles to complete the tomb of the late Pope Julius II and the façade of the San Lorenzo basilica, is captivated by visions, and becomes entangled in the corruption of noble factions.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Andrei Konchalovsky Studios

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About Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Started in 1997, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has grown into one of the biggest film festivals in Northern Europe and busiest regional industry platforms, hosting more than 1000 guests and industry delegates and over 160 journalists. The festival screens around 250 features and more than 300 shorts and animations and sees an attendance of 80 000 people annually. In 2017 the festival was covered in 71 languages with a potential global media audience of over 1.1 billion people.

As of 2014 the festival holds the FIAPF accreditation for holding an international competition programme which puts the festival into the so- called A-category of film festivals, alongside other 14 festivals in the world (including Cannes, Berlinale, Venice, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Shanghai, Tokyo etc).  

Black Nights has an umbrella structure with two sub-festivals PÖFF Shorts and youth and children's film festival Just Film taking place concurrently with the main festival,
two off-season festivals - Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival and Tartu Love Film Festival - and a fully-fledged film industry platform Industry@Tallinn, organised jointly with the Baltic Event Co-production market.

Black Nights Film Festival 16 Nov - 2 Dec
PÖFF Shorts 20 Nov - 25 Nov
Just Film 16 Nov - 2 Dec
Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event 26 Nov - 30 Nov



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