Born in Moscow in 1937 into a family of writers and artists, Andrei Konchalovsky studied piano for twelve years. After having seen the film The Cranes Are Flying, he stopped his music studies and entered Moscow's film school (VGIK) with Andrei Tarkovsky as classmate. They collaborated on the screenplay for Andrei Rublev. He began working as a feature film director, shooting in Kirghizia The First Teacher (1965), celebrated at the Venice film festival. Next he made Asya's Happiness which was shelved for many years as it was not approved of by the Soviet authorities. Konchalovsky then decided to bring classics of Russian literature to the screen: A Nest of Gentlefolk (1969) and Uncle Vanya (1970), considered by Woody Allen to be one of the best ever adaptations of Chekhov. He launched himself into historical drama with Sibiriada (1978), the Jury's Special Grand Prix at Cannes. He began working in the United Sates with Maria's Lovers (1984), followed by, among others, Runaway Train after a screenplay by Kurosawa and Shy People which earned Barbara Hershey a best actress prize at Cannes.
He returned to work in Russia and, in 1991, directed The Inner Circle. Using the character of Asya once again, he places her in post-communist Russia in Ryaba My Chicken (1994). The House of Fools wins the Jury Grand Prix in Venice in 2002. Not only a brilliant filmmaker but also talented for theatre and opera, Konchalovsky directed productions of War and Peace, King Lear, The Seagull, Eugene Onegin, The Trojans, Queen of Spades on the most prestigious stages.
Films presented at Cannes
Cinéfondation & Short Films