Georgian-Russian Director Rezo Chkheidze Dies at 88

Rezo Chkheidze

In 1956, he won the best short film award at Cannes.

Georgian-Russian director Rezo Chkheidze, a Cannes winner for the best short film, died in Tbilisi after a long illness on May 3 at the age of 88.

The Georgian TV network Rustavi 2 reported his death, quoting Nana Janelidze, head of Georgia's national film center.

Born in Tbilisi on Dec. 8, 1926, Chkheidze took classes at the city's Rustaveli Theater Institute and later graduated from the film directing department of the State Institute of Cinema (VGIK) in Moscow.

Upon graduation, he returned to Georgia, where he spent his entire career, belonging to the Georgian filmmaking school, one of the most advanced in the Soviet Union.

In 1956, Magdanas lurja (Lurdzha Magdany), which he directed with Tengiz Abuladze, another remarkable Georgia-born filmmaker, won the best short film award at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Chkeidze went on to direct 10 features and TV series, the best known of which was 1965's Otets Soldata (Father of a Soldier), a drama set during the Second World War. The film collected awards at a number of international festivals, including the San Francisco International Film Festival.

He directed his last film, Matskhovris Saplavze Antebuli Santeli, in 2008. A year later, Chkeidze collected a lifetime achievement award at the Moscow International Film Festival.

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