Andrei Tarkovsky (1932–1986) was a Russian film director, screenwriter and film theorist. He directed several student films, co-directed a documentary, and was the author of numerous screenplays, both for his own films and for those of other directors. He directed two stage plays and one radio production, played minor acting roles in several films, and wrote a book on film theory. In addition, Tarkovsky kept a diary (published posthumously) and appeared in, or was the subject of, several dozen documentaries on the history of cinema and the art and craft of filmmaking.
Tarkovsky began his career at the State Institute of Cinematography with several student films. His first feature film was 1961's Ivan's Childhood, considered by some to be his most conventional film. This was followed by four other films during the period 1961 to 1979. His last film produced in the Soviet Union was Stalker in 1979. During his time in the Soviet Union he wrote several screenplays for films he ultimately did not realize. He also contributed towards the productions of several films by other directors, as screenwriter, actor, film editor and artistic advisor. Tarkovsky left the Soviet Union in 1979 and directed the film Nostalghia and the documentary Voyage in Time about the making of Nostalghia in Italy.
His last film The Sacrifice was produced in Sweden, shortly before his death.