Sergei Loznitsa

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Sergei Loznitsa
Сяргей Уладзіміравіч Лазніца
Sergei Loznitsa.jpg
Born (1964-09-05) 5 September 1964 (age 58)
OccupationFilm director
Years active1996–present
Sergei Loznitsa Signature.svg

Sergei Vladimirovich Loznitsa (Belarusian: Сяргей Уладзіміравіч Лазніца, Russian: Сергей Владимирович Лозница, Ukrainian: Сергій Володимирович Лозниця; born 5 September 1964) is a Ukrainian director of Belarusian origin known for his documentary as well as dramatic films.[1]


Loznitsa was born on 5 September 1964 in the city of Baranavichy, in the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Later the Loznitsa family moved to Kyiv, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, where he completed high school.[2]

Loznitsa graduated from Kyiv Polytechnic Institute as a mathematician in 1987. Between 1987 and 1991 he worked at the Institute of Cybernetics, where he developed expert systems, systems of design-making and artificial intelligence. Loznitsa also worked as a translator from Japanese.

In 1991 he enrolled at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, in the fictional-film direction department taught by Nana Jorjadze. He graduated with honors in 1997.[3]

After completion of his studies Loznitsa began working as a documentary film director in Saint Petersburg in 2000. He and his family moved to Germany in 2001. In 2007, Loznitsa travelled to Canada to participate in the first retrospective of his films at Media City Film Festival, representing his first in person visit to North America. This screening and lecture included many of the director's lesser-known short films focussing on his intimate depictions of the former Soviet Europe, including Halt (2000), Portrait (2002), and Factory (2004). Many of Loznitsa's films had North American premieres at Media City Film Festival, including Blockade (2005), Artel (2006), Revue (2008), The Letter (2012) and others before the director began to gain international prominence with major screenings at TIFF, NYFF and elsewhere.

In 2010 his film My Joy was selected for the main competition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.[4] His 2012 film In the Fog competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[5][6] Maidan had its world premiere in a special screening at Cannes in May 2014, a record of the 2013–14 popular protests in Kyiv and their violent suppression.[7] His documentary "Babi Yar. Context" was created with help from Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center.[8]

On 28 February 2022, Loznitsa resigned from the European Film Academy in response to its statement expressing "solidarity with Ukraine" published days earlier in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In an open letter, Loznitsa condemned the academy for failing "to call a war a war, to condemn barbarity and voice your protest".[9] On 1 March 2022, the academy announced that it would exclude Russian films from its European Film Awards.[10] The same day, Loznitsa spoke against this decision, saying, "many friends and colleagues, Russian filmmakers, have taken a stand against this insane war. ... They are victims as we are of this aggression", and calling to "not judge people based on their passports" but "on their acts".[11]

On 19 March 2022, it was announced that Loznitsa had been expelled from the Ukrainian Film Academy for opposing the boycott of Russian films. The academy stated that Loznitsa had "repeatedly stressed that he considers himself a cosmopolitan, 'a man of the world'. However, now, when Ukraine is struggling to defend its independence, the key concept in the rhetoric of every Ukrainian should be his national identity." Loznitsa issued a statement the same day, saying, "I was astonished to read of the Ukrainian film academy's decision to expel me for being a cosmopolite. ... It is only during the late Stalinist era, from the onset of the antisemitic campaign unleashed by Stalin between 1948 and 1953, that the term acquired a negative connotation in Soviet propaganda discourse. By speaking out against cosmopolitanism, the Ukrainian 'academy members' employ this very discourse invented by Stalin". Loznitsa called the academy's emphasis on the national identity "Nazism" and a "gift to Kremlin propagandists".[12][13][14]

Selected filmography[edit]

Documentary films[edit]

Feature films[edit]



  1. ^ "Sergei LOZNITSA". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Sergei Loznitsa - Film director". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  3. ^ Sergei Loznitsa in the Encyclopedia of Russian Cinema
  4. ^ CNN: "Cannes 101: A film festival field guide"
  5. ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  6. ^ "Cannes Film Festival 2012 line-up announced". timeout. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  7. ^ interview sergei loznitsa filmcomment
  8. ^ The tragedy of Babi Yar in the film by Sergei Loznitsa (Russian), by Dmitry Volchek, RFE/RL.
  9. ^ "Ukraine's Sergei Loznitsa resigns from EFA, criticises Academy's response to invasion". Screen Daily. 28 February 2022. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  10. ^ Parfitt, Orland (1 March 2022). "EFA to exclude Russian films from European Film Awards". Screen Daily. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  11. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (1 March 2022). "Ukrainian Filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa Speaks Against Russian Boycott (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  12. ^ Zilko, Christian (19 March 2022). "Sergei Loznitsa, Director Who Stood with Russian Filmmakers, Expelled from Ukrainian Film Academy". IndieWire. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  13. ^ Blaney, Martin (21 March 2022). "Ukrainian Film Academy explains decision to expel director Sergei Loznitsa". Screen Daily. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  14. ^ Loznitsa, Sergei (19 March 2022). "Sergei Loznitsa's public statement". Cinéma du Réel. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  15. ^ "The Trial". Rotten Tomatoes.
  16. ^ "Victory Day". Rotten Tomatoes.
  17. ^ "State Funeral". Rotten Tomatoes.
  18. ^ "State Funeral". Metacritic.
  19. ^ "The Natural History of Destruction". Rotten Tomatoes.
  20. ^ The unification of the prison with the people (Russian), by Dmitry Volchek, RFE/RL
  21. ^ Lodge, Guy (18 May 2018). "Cannes: 'Border' Leads Un Certain Regard Award Winners". Variety. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  22. ^ Boas, Matthew (3 December 2018). "Álvaro Brechner wins the Golden Pyramid at Cairo with A Twelve-Year Night". Cineuropa. Retrieved 4 December 2018.

External links[edit]