Iosif Kheifits

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Iosif Kheifits
Born (1905-04-12)12 April 1905
Minsk, Russian Empire (now Belarus)
Died 24 March 1995(1995-03-24) (aged 89)
St. Petersburg, Russia
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1928-1989

Iosif Yefimovich Kheifits[1] (Belarusian: Іосіф Яўхімавіч Хейфіц; 17 December [O.S. 4 December] 1905 – 24 April 1995) was a Soviet film director, winner of two Stalin Prizes (1941, 1946), People's Artist of USSR (1964), Hero of Socialist Labor (1975). Member of the Communist Party of Soviet Union since 1945.

Life and career[edit]

Kheifets was born December 17, 1905 in Minsk. In 1927 he graduated from the Leningrad Technical-screen art, and in 1928 - cinema faculty of Institute of History of Art.

In 1928, Iosif Kheifets came to work at a film studio "Sovkino" (now - Lenfilm Studio). In film, he first made his debut as a screenwriter, with A. Ivanov and Aleksandr Zarkhi he created the scripts for films "Moon on the left" and "Transportation of fire".

Later, Iosif Kheifits became the director, while from 1928 to 1950 he worked with Alexander Zarkhi, headed by 1st Komsomol stage brigade of the Leningrad factory "Sovkino" (now Lenfilm Studio), releasing films on the Soviet youth- "Wind in the face"(1930), "Noon" (1931), the comedy "Hectic Days" (1935). "Baltic Deputy" (1937), with deep historical and psychological truth, great artistic power, showed how great Russian scientist Professor Polezhayev (referring to Kliment Timiryazev, starring Nikolay Cherkasov) joined October revolution. A significant piece of cinema became "Member of the Government" (1939), film centered on the image of a Russian peasant woman (starring Vera Maretskaya), who took the difficult path from a farmhand to a deputy of the Supreme Soviet. Together with Zarkhi he set such films as "His name is Sukhebaator" (1942), "Malakhov Kurgan" (1944), the documentary "The defeat of Japan" (1945). In 1950s he directed such famous films as "A Big Family", "Rumyantsev Case", "My dear man". Then Iosif Kheifits turned to the Russian classics, filmed works of Anton Chekhov, Ivan Turgenev, Aleksandr Kuprin - "Lady with the Dog", "Good bad man", "Asya", "Shurochka".

In 1970 his film Hail, Mary! entered the 7th Moscow International Film Festival.[2] In 1975 he was a member of the jury at the 9th Moscow International Film Festival.[3]

Deep disclosure of the inner nature of characters, fine understanding of cinematic language and expressive details cab be listed as distinctive features of his work.

His films brightly and und unexpectedly opened creative individualities of may actors, such as Iya Savvina, Alexei Batalov, Anatoly Papanov, Oleg Dal, Vladimir Vysotsky, Lyudmila Maksakova, Ada Rogovtseva, Elena Koreneva, Stanislav Sadalskiy.

Many times the director's work were honored with various film awards, including Cannes Film Festival. Last work of Heifits was dramatic film 'Vagrant Bus", which was released in 1989.

Iosif Kheifits died April 24, 1995. He was buried at the cemetery in Komarovo.


Directing work[edit]

Assistant director[edit]

  • 1928 - Luna Sleva (The Moon Is to the Left)[4]
  • 1930 - Transport Ognya (Transport of Fire)[4]


Written scenarios[edit]

  • 1928 - Moon on the left
  • 1935 - Hot denechki
  • 1939 - Member of the Government
  • 1944 - Malakhov Kurgan
  • 1986 - Defendant
  • 1989 - Vagrant bus

Awards and prizes[edit]

  • Stalin Prize, second class (1941); for the film "Baltic Deputy" (1936)
  • Stalin Prize of the first degree (1946); for the documentary "The defeat of Japan" (1945)
  • People's Artist of the USSR (1964)
  • Hero of Socialist Labor (1975)


  1. ^ The transliteration of his name is also given as Josef Heifitz, Josif Heifits (Oxford Companion to Film, 1976, p326) and numerous others.
  2. ^ "7th Moscow International Film Festival (1971)". MIFF. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ "9th Moscow International Film Festival (1975)". MIFF. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Heifitz, Iosif". Film Reference. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 

External links[edit]