Ilya Naishuller

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Ilya Naishuller
Born Ilya Viktorovich Naishuller
(1983-11-19) November 19, 1983 (age 34)
Moscow, USSR
Occupation Musician, director
Years active 2008–present

Ilya Viktorovich Naishuller (Russian: Илья Викторович Найшуллер; born 1983, Moscow, USSR[1]) is a Russian musician, film director, and screenwriter. He is a member of the Russian indie rock band Biting Elbows.


Naishuller was born in Russia, the son of a Russian surgeon and a Jewish businessman,[2] but from the age of 7 onwards, he lived with his mother in London.[3][4] Seven years later, however, they returned to Russia.[3]

He studied at the Tisch School of the Arts, but he left after a short time, since it appeared "useless" to him.[4] However, he met various filmmakers, some of whom he would collaborate with later.

In 1999, with some fellow students, he founded his first band but they soon broke up.[3] In 2008, he founded the rock band Biting Elbows, where he is a singer and guitarist. In 2011, he appeared in the EP Dope Fiend Massacre and the debut album Biting Elbows.

In 2013, Naishuller appeared in the single Bad Motherfucker, where he also directed the music video. The first-person amateur video went on to be a viral hit online with over 20 million views[5] and was, among others, praised by Darren Aronofsky.[4]

In the same year he was an actor, with a small role in the Roman Karimov crime comedy All at Once (Russian: Всё и сразу).

Shortly thereafter, Naishuller began shooting his film-directing debut Hardcore, later renamed Hardcore Henry. The action movie was produced by Timur Bekmambetov, Inga Vainshtein Smith, and Ekaterina Kononenko and featured supporting roles from Sharlto Copley and Tim Roth. Naishuller functioned as a screenwriter, director, producer and also took on a role as an actor. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2015, and went on to gross $14.3 million USD, becoming one of the most successful Russian films since 1991.[6]


  • 2013: Biting ElbowsBad Motherfucker (Music video; director)
  • 2015: Hardcore Henry (feature film; director, writer, producer, cinematographer, actor)
  • 2016: The Weeknd – "False Alarm" (music video; director)
  • 2016: The Medic, a piece from Saatchi & Saatchi's 25x25 - a collection of 1 minute shorts directed by the participants of the last 25 years of the New Director's Showcase.
  • 2017: Leningrad - "Кольщик" (Kolshchik) (music video; director)
  • 2017: Leningrad - "Вояж" (Voyage) (music video; director)
  • 2018: Leningrad - "Жу-Жу" (Ju-Ju) (music video; director)


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