Kantemir Balagov

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Kantemir Arturovich Balagov (Russian: Кантеми́р Арту́рович Бала́гов; born July 28, 1991, Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, RSFSR, USSR) is a Russian film director, screenwriter and cinematographer.


Kantemir was born in Nalchik on July 28, 1991 in a family, unrelated to cinematography.[1][2] His mother is a teacher of chemistry and biology, she works as a head teacher at a local school, while his father is a local entrepreneur.[3]

Since childhood, Kantemir watched a lot of mainstream movies, and at the age of 18 began to create his own small videos. Then, together with friends in Nalchik, he shot an Internet series with episodes of 10 minutes each. He didn't originally plan to pursue a career of a filmmaker, but decided to apply for the cinema workshop, led by Alexander Sokurov at the Kabardino-Balkarian University. Kantemir missed the time to enter the unversity as a freshman, but still wrote to Sokurov, asking to consider his application. He eventually got accepted to the workshop as a third year student. As a result, he graduated from the Kabardino-Balkar University in Nalchik on the course of the creative workshop of Alexander Sokurov.

During his studies he made several fiction and documentary films.[4] Some of Balagov’s short films were shown at the 67th Locarno Film Festival.[5] In 2017, he made his debut as a director with the feature film Closeness in the program Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival, where he received the prize FIPRESCI.[6][7][8] In 2017, he was awarded the GQ Russia Prize in the category Discovery of the Year.[9]

In 2019, Balagov received the Cannes prize as best director and FIPRESCI prize for the film Beanpole, which was presented in the program Un Certain Regard.[10] [11]


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