Konstantin Fam

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Konstantin Fam
Konstantin Fam.jpg
Born (1972-07-13) 13 July 1972 (age 46)
Pervomayskiy, Kharkov region
Alma materGerasimov Institute of Cinematography
New York Film Academy
Years active1993–present

Konstantin Fam aka Costa Fam (rus. Константи́н Фа́м, born July 13, 1972, Pervomayskiy, USSR) is an independent director, producer, screenwriter. His movie "Shoes" produced in the memory of the Holocaust victims[1] is the only Russian short movie applying for the Academy Awards in 2013.[2]

Early life[edit]

He was born in the town of Pervomayskiy in Kharkiv oblast in Ukrainian SSR. His father, Nguen Kong Tak, is a Vietnamese political immigrant, who was sent personally by Ho Chi Minh to study in the Soviet Union. Members of the father's family are the heroes of the Vietnam War. Father himself has spent more than 10 years in resistance guerrilla group. During his studies as an engineer he was drafted to the war. He took it as disrespect to his merits and sought for the political asylum in the Soviet Union, thus he was not allowed to live in big cities. The family was under the KGB supervision so that any movement required special permission. His mother, Svetlana Naumovna Malkina, was Jewish. The majority of maternal relatives died in the Holocaust. His father's relatives were killed during the Vietnam War. Mother had been hiding her Jewishness for the whole life. Parents' stories has influenced Costa's creative world outlook.

Costa has lived in the town of Pervomayskiy up to his 15 then entered the Dnipropetrovsk State Theatre School, for the Puppetry Arts. According to the director, he dreamed of acting classes, while the dolls were considered to be nonprestigious, but years later Fam admit that this specialty has provided him with the extensive experience in the music construction, staging, as well as in the ability to animate inanimate objects. Subsequently, this experience was useful when shooting "Shoes".

Early career[edit]

After graduation, he moved to Tbilisi for working in the theater. After military conflict outbreak in Georgia in 1991, he moved to Chernihiv, where he worked as an actor in a local theater. However, roles offered to Constantine were often based on his Asian appearance that didn't match his ambitions. In 1992, he moved to Moscow and started working on television projects in various roles. In 1997, at the fourth attempt he entered Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), the Course of Screenwriting headed by the great Valentin Yezhov. After two years studying he decided to leave it and concentrate on business development. He started studying film equipment rental, as well as filming TV commercials, advertisements, music videos and image movies. In 1998, he was a writer of children's comic film magazine "Yeralash", as well as a director. In the 2000s ran a large cinemachinery leasing business also shooting television commercials. During this period, Constantine acted in various production roles, ranging from small roles to producing and directing. The company was closed due to 2008 crisis. Constantine had a dream to earn the necessary amount of money, to shoot a comedy based on his own scenario and start working on his own projects.

Creative period[edit]

From the sixteen, Costa has been forming the list of projects he would like to implement. In 2008, he became the second director and screenwriter of the comedy club, Women's League, having worked for two seasons. After this, Constantine acted as a director of 10 episodes sketch show "Caution: Children!" In the same period, the screenplay for the movie "Insulin" was written, then bought by Alexei A. Petrukhin and claimed as a feature film, "Soldier". His love to the sketches Constantine refers to the manifestation of his national identity. Willing to develop himself as a filmmaker, he entered the NYFA, took all of the film production courses.


Education ended with 13-week production period, during which a short film based on the story of Grigori Gorin was shot. In the center of the story there is a boy, who changed a winning lottery ticket on the Hedgehog. Boy's father was trying to return the ticket by all means. The story gained the festival success, and then has been invited to many showings. It won the Grand Prix Festival in São Paulo in Brazil. The movie was taken to the Short Film Corner program in Cannes.


"Witnesses" is the first feature film in former Soviet Union produced in memory of the Holocaust victims. Witnesses is the historical drama that consists of three short films Shoes, Brutus[3][4] and Violin united by the idea to be produced in memory of the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. The project is being elaborated in the memory of the perished people because there is hardly a single Jewish family that didn't lose their loved ones on the run of the mass destruction in the 20th-century catastrophe. The key purpose of the project is to spread the knowledge about the history and to remind the young generation of the tragedy in order to prevent it in the future.


The film "Shoes" is the first novel of the trilogy "Witnesses".[5] "Witnesses" is the first feature film in former Soviet Union produced in memory of the Holocaust victims. During the filming Costa has spent four months in Europe. SHOES traces the personal history of a Jewish girl from the point of view of a pair of red shoes.[6] Starting from the shop window where the shoes were purchased and ending at a mountain of discarded shoes of the victims, the viewer witnesses the effects of the tragedy of fascism.[7][8] The film is the winner of many awards and film festivals, it is invited to the Visual Centre Yad Vashem (Israel),[9] along with the outstanding films about the Holocaust made by Spielberg, Polanski, Benigni. During the 8th International Video Festival Empire (Italy)[10] the film awarded the Gran Prix Silver reel of film as one of the most important in cultural and education spheres. This festival is held under the patronage of UNESCO and listed the 13 most important festivals in the world that support the cultural heritage and education. The festival presents 721 works from 52 countries. Recently Shoes has been qualified for 2013 Academy Award consideration.[11][12]

"Brutus" [edit]

"Brutus" continues concept of The trilogy "Witnesses"[13] and tells us story of the Holocaust through the eyes of a German Shepherd dog Brutus. The Nuremberg Laws have separated the dog with his favorite mistress, Jewish woman. In the process of training and taming Brutus becomes a concentration camp beast-killer. The film is based on a novel of a Czech writer Ludvik Ashkenazy.[14][15] Filmmakers from Russia, Romania,[16][17] Israel, the United States, Moldova, Belarus and the Czech Republic participated in the production.[18] The main roles in the film were performed by Oksana Fandera, Filipp Yankovsky, Vladimir Koshevoy and Anna Churina. The Russian premiere of the film took place in the framework of the competition program Moscow International Film Festival in the summer of 2016.[19] Film was longlisted to the 89th Academy Awards by Academy Award for Live Action Short Film[20] and nominated on The Golden Eagle Award of National Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of Russia[21]


Filming locations were situated in Moscow, New York, Belarus, the Czech Republic and Israel. The main roles were performed by Lenn Kudryavitsky, Oksana Fandera, Vladimir Koshevoi, Vyacheslav Chepurchenko, Mikhail Gorevoy and others.[22] The film was premiered in the summer of 2017.

Moscow Jewish Film Festival [edit]

Konstantin was one of the creators and producer of the Moscow Jewish Film Festival. In 2015, Fam also became chairman of the Jury at the 1st Moscow Jewish Film Festival.[23] In the summer of 2016 took place 2nd Moscow Jewish Film Festival which gathered more than 5000 spectators.[24]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • For the film "Hedgehog" :
    • 2012 - Best Short Film Festival ArtDeco de Cinema, Brazil
    • 2012 - Best feature films of the International Festival of Short Film and Animation "Vision", Russia
  • For the film "Shoes" :
    • 2013 - Monaco International Film Festival (Monaco) [25]
    • 2013 - 8th International Video Festival Empire (Italy), Gran Prix Silver reel of film[26]
    • 2013 - Radiant Angel Festival (Russia), Best Live Action Short Film Award[27]
    • 2013 - Artkino Festival (Russia), The best experimental film Award[28]
    • 2013 - International Film Festival Vstreshi na Vjatke (Russia), The 1st prize
    • 2013 - International Film Festival Golden Apricot (Armenia), NewMag Award
    • 2013 - Festival KONIK (Russia), the prize For the contribution to the short film development in Russia[29]
  • For the film "Brutus" :


  • 2018 - Witnesses, feature film; Writer, Director, Producer
  • 2017 - Violin, short film; Writer, director, Producer
  • 2016 - Brutus, short film; Writer, Director, Producer
  • 2013 - Shoes, short film; Writer, Director, Producer[35]
  • 2012 - Caution! Children, TV series on channel STS; Director
  • 2012 - Hedgehog, short film; Writer, Director, Producer
  • 2009 - 2010 - Women's League seasons 6-7, TV series on TNT; Skit writer, Director


  1. ^ People without a face.mn.ru
  2. ^ Fam's Holocaust film "Shoes" makes big impact.rbth.com
  3. ^ Crew of the second novel of the Trilogy "Witnesses" work in Romania. cinemaplex.ru
  4. ^ Upcoming film captures the Holocaust through eyes of dog. calvertjournal.com
  5. ^ Russian Biz Sets Up Shop at AFM.variety.com
  6. ^ A filmmaker's silent Holocaust tale. sandiegouniontribune.com
  7. ^ Powerful Short Film “Shoes” Packs An Emotional Wallop. desertlocalnews.com
  8. ^ By relying on gimmicks and avoiding specific stories, Russian Oscar-contender 'Shoes' betrays the memory of Holocaust victims. haaretz.com
  9. ^ A short drama telling the story of a pair of shoes
  10. ^ The story of the film began with a shoe
  11. ^ Konstantin Fam's film nominated for the Academy Awards at the same time with Feodor Bondarchuk's "Stalingrad".NOVAYAGAZETA
  12. ^ Short film "Shoes" will compete for the nomination for "Academy Awards". RIA
  13. ^ Brutus, short film about WWII filming in Romania. hotnews.ro
  14. ^ Oksana Fandera and Filipp Yankovsky will play in a movie about the Holocaust. www.jewish.ru Archived 2016-06-03 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Oksana Fandera and Philip Jankowski will appear on the screen together again. people talk.ru
  16. ^ "Brutus", short film about World War II, filming in Romania. aarc.ro
  17. ^ Crew of the second novel of the Trilogy "Witnesses" work in Romania. cinemaplex.ru
  18. ^ Film about the Holocaust is shooting in Russia. echo.msk.ru
  19. ^ Oksana Fandera and Philip Yankovsky in the film "Brutus". Aleph
  20. ^ Russian short film will compete for the "Oscar". ROSKINO
  21. ^ Advisory List of Advisory Board for 2016. Kinoacademy.ru
  22. ^ Shooting of the third novel "Kinoalmanah" Witnesses ". RFG Archived 2017-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ The first Jewish film festival opened in Moscow. Ria.ru
  24. ^ In Moscow In the Second Time The Jewish Film Festival was opened. MK.RU
  25. ^ The world premiere of Russian-Vietnamese director Costa Fam’s experimental short Shoes. The Hollywood reporter
  26. ^ Russian Film Week begins in Israel. RIA
  27. ^ Results of Festival "Radiant Angel". RIA
  28. ^ The winners of the 6th All-Russian festival of author's short film "ARTkino". ARTkino
  29. ^ Results of the Open Film Festival of short independent films «KONIK Film Festival». Молодёжный центр СК РФ Archived 2013-12-11 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ 2016 Winners. Nevada Film Festival
  31. ^ Award winners. Sochifilmawards.com
  32. ^ Russian short film will compete for the "Oscar". ROSKINO
  33. ^ Advisory List of Advisory Board for 2016. Kinoacademy.ru
  34. ^ The season's winners. Bestshorts.net
  35. ^ Powerful Short Film “Shoes” Packs An Emotional Wallop

External links[edit]