Tallinn to honour Andrei Konchalovsky

Russian director to receive lifetime achievement award

by Amber Wilkinson

Sin Photo: Courtesy of PÖFF
Andrei Konchalovsky
Andrei Konchalovsky Photo: Courtesy of PÖFF
Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky will receive one of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival's two lifetime achievements awards later this month.

The festival, which runs from November 15 to December 1, will also screen his latest film Sin - a portrait of the Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti - along with 2002's Chechen war drama House Of Fools.

Konchalovsky’s career spans over five decades, with films including The Story of Asya Klyachina (1966) and Uncle Vanya (1970) to The Postman’s White Nights (2014) and Paradise (2016). He has also made English-language film, including Runaway Train (1985) Maria’s Lovers (1984), Duet for One (1986), Shy People (1986) and Homer and Eddie (1989).

He has won accolades including the Venice Silver Lion, the Cannes Grand Jury Prize, Karlovy Vary's Crystal Globe and the Sebastian Golden Shell.

He also won an Emmy for best director for his small screen work with The Odyssey (1997).

On November 25, PÖFF will screen House Of Fools with Konchalovsky and lead actor Julia Visotskaya in attendance. The following day, he will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the gala screening of Sin.

Festival director and head of programme Mrs Tiina Lokk said: “When I was a student, Andrei Konchalovsky’s sophomore film, The Story of Asya Klyachina, was among the first films that I can clearly remember leaving a profound artistic imprint in my memory - so fresh in form and style of shooting, part of a new cinematic wave of naturalism, after a long period of artistic stagnation and the depiction of unnatural Soviet heroes on screen. It truly shook up my world and I have followed his oeuvre ever since! I hope it is safe to say that if some directors are essentially ‘Russian,’ he is more of a ‘World’ director - a creative chameleon of sorts whose artistic form is ever-changing, while his true essence remains the same.

“We are excited to be the second festival after Rome to screen his latest film Sin! An intriguing piece of work, truly worthy of the label ‘arthouse blockbuster’. I can sense some similarities between him and the protagonist Michelangelo - the endless, almost uncontrollable drive to create, whatever the material or personal cost, whatever the obstacles.”

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