Many know Russian filmmaker Andrei Zvyagintsev with The Return (2003). Critics and festival jury members overwhelmingly welcomed his first feature film which won many international awards at top film festivals around the world. He was born in 1964 in northern Russia. As a young man, he studied acting and played on stage. He went to Moscow in the early 1990s to pursue his acting career. Moscow is a difficult city for any newcomer. Throughout the 1990s he appeared in successful TV series that was well received. He directed some films for TV in early 2000 and proved his qualifications. The Return was a low-budget movie with a family story. It won many awards at the film festivals inside Russia before becoming a real hit in Venice where it won the Golden Lion in 2003. He made his second film, The Banishment, in 2007. Constantine Lavronenco won the acting award for this film in Cannes. He was the first Russian actor to win such an award. His presence in Tehran as a jury member of the 27th Fajr Film Festival was an exciting event.
Tell us about your visit to Iran.
I like the culture of Iran and this region of Asia. Iran is a significant and vast country in this region and I was so excited. I always liked to come to Iran and meet her people and their culture. I have seen almost all of Europe and know about its culture. Once I liked to see Japan, Iran and Latin America. I have had the opportunity to go to Japan and Latin America already and now I am on this interesting journey to Iran.