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Who is Nikita Mikhalkov?

By Garry Crystal
Updated May 23, 2024
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Nikita Mikhalkov is an award winning Russian filmmaker and actor. He was born on 21 October 1945 to Sergey Mikhalkov and Natalya Konchalovskaya. Nikita Mikhalkov's father, Sergey Mikhalkov was a poet who wrote the words to the Russian anthem. His mother, Natalya Konchalovskaya was also a poet, therefore art was a main component in Nikita Mikhalkov's family lifestyle.

After graduating from the state film school in 1971, Nikita Mikhalkov become known as a talented emerging film director. His films such as An Unfinished Piece for a Piano Player in 1977 and A Few Days in the Life of I.I.Oblomov in 1979 were highly praised. These films took their subject matter from literary Russian classics and were also praised for their technical style.

His films began to be enjoyed by critics and the cinema-going public alike. His international reputation was continuing to grow not only as a director but as an actor. Nikita Mikhalkov took acting roles not only in his own films but also in other directors' films. To date he has appeared as an actor in over 40 films.

The filmmaking awards received by Nikita Mikhalkov are impressive. They include awards from European film festivals such as Cannes and Venice. He has also won an Academy Award for his 1994 film, Burnt by the Sun. Nikita Mikhalkov is often described as the Russian Spielberg and his films have been praised he world over.

The films of Nikita Mikhalkov are often complex and multi layered, with political backdrops. The Barber of Siberia, made in 1998, was made as a nationalistic epic and featured Julia Ormond in a leading role while Nikita Mikhalkov played Alexander III of Russia. The film won the Russian state prize and provoked rumors regarding the political ambitions of Nikita Mikhalkov.

His next step was to become President of the Russian Society of Cinematographists. Since 2000 Nikita Mikhalkov has managed the Moscow Film Festival and was instrumental in setting up the Russian Academy Golden Eagle Award. This runs in opposition to the traditional Nikita Award.

Nikita Mikhalkov has to date directed 17 films. He also continues to act in films, appearing in three films in 2005. The Councillor of State was a box office smash in Russia. Zhmurki and Persona Non Grata were also well received in the same year.

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