Russian Director Dmitry Meskhiyev Steps Down as Head of St. Petersburg's Culture Committee

He cites an undisclosed job offer as the reason for his departure.

MOSCOW – Russian director and producer Dmitry Meskhiyev has resigned as head of the St. Petersburg city government culture committee after just over seven months in office.

“I am switching to a new job,” Meskhiyev was quoted as saying by the Vecherny Peterburg newspaper. “There are no hidden reasons behind this decision. Once I got an offer, I am leaving this position by mutual consent with the city authorities.”

He wouldn’t disclose any specifics of his new job.

Meskhiyev, a native of St. Petersburg and a graduate of the Moscow State Cinema Institute (VGIK), headed the film production company Cherepakha from 2001 to 2008 and was later general producer at the Russian World Studios (RWS) before being appointed head of the culture committee last December. The appointment was part of a reshuffle in the city government, caused by the stepping down of governor Valentina Matviyenko, who went on to chair the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russian Parliament.

Meskhiyev’s short stint as head of the cultural committee of Russia’s “cultural capital” was marked with several controversies, including an unsuccessful attempt to fire Yuri Butusov, the head director of the Lensovet Theater.

Meskhiyev was one of the few Russian filmmakers to have held a top level national or local government position. He is known as the director of the movies Mekhanicheskaya Syuita (Mechanical Suite) and Svoi (Our Own), the winner of the best movie, best director and best actor prizes at the 2004 Moscow International Film Festival.

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