Russian Director Andrei Konchalovsky to be Honored at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Andrei Konchalovsky - Getty - H 2016
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The veteran filmmaker and Venice regular will receive a lifetime achievement award and present his Michelangelo biopic, 'Sin' at the Estonian event.

Veteran Russian film and theater director Andrei Konchalovsky is to receive a lifetime achievement award during the 23rd edition of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival on Nov. 26.

Konchalovsky — along with his half-brother and Oscar winner Nikita Mikhalkov — is one of the few Russian directors to have made it to Hollywood, where his English-language films include three-times Academy nominated Runaway Train (1985), Duet for One (1986) and the infamously troubled tentpole Tango and Cash (1989).

Early in his career he wrote the screenplay for Andrei Tarkovsky's iconographic 1966 film Andrei Rublev, and in total Konchalovsky collaborated with the legendary Russian director on seven films. 

In recent years he has concentrated on shooting domestic and European films and his latest film, Sin (also known as Il Peccato) — a Russian-Italian biopic of Renaissance artist Michelangelo, shot entirely on location in Italy.

Produced by Andrei Konchalovsky Studios and Jean Vigo Italia with Rai Cinema, the film stars Alberto Testone (Pasolini: The Hidden Truth; Suburra) as Michelangelo.

Konchalovky is a regular at the Venice film festival, where he has twice won the Silver Lion for best director (The Postman's White Nights, 2014; Paradise, 2016) and the Grand Jury Prize for the House of Fools (2002). In 1979 he took the Cannes Grand Jury Prize for Siberiade; other awards include San Sebastian Gold and Silver Shells for, respectively, Homer and Eddie (1989) and Uncle Vanya (1970) and Karlovy Vary's Golden Globe for A Lover's Romance (1974).

He is currently working on a new film, Dear Comrades, based on the true story of the 1962 massacre of Soviet workers demonstrating for better conditions in the southern Russian town of Novocherkassk.

Konchalovsky will present a gala screening of Sin at the festival Nov. 26 following the presentation of lifetime achievement award. Past awardees of the honor — one of two the festival gives each year — include Hungarian director Istvan Szabo, Finland's Aki Kaurismaki, and Icelandic filmmaker Fridrik Thor Fridriksson.

He will also, on Nov. 25, present a screening of House of Fools, with lead actress and his wife Julia Vysotskaya in attendance.

Tiina Lokk, festival director, said: "If some directors are essentially 'Russian,' Konchalovsky is more of a 'world' director — a creative chameleon of sorts, whose artistic form is ever-changing, while his essence remains the same."

The 23rd edition of the Tallin Black Nights Film Festival runs Nov. 15-Dec. 1.