Kantemir Balagov

Filmmaker

Kantemir Balagov (born in Nalchik, in the Kabardino-Balkaria region of Russia, based in Los Angeles, US) is an artist and filmmaker.

“Cinema, for me, is the medium that makes my life meaningful and hopeful”, he says.

After studying under the famed Russian director Alexander Sokurov, Balagov directed his debut feature film Closeness, which he released in 2017. The film retells the true story of a young couple who were kidnapped on the eve of their wedding. Closeness won Balagov the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes film festival in 2017 and the Grand Jury at the Premiers Plans Film Festival in Angers, both in France, in 2018.

Balagov made Beanpole, his second feature, in 2019. The film is set in the formerly occupied Russian city of Leningrad in 1945 and focuses on the friendship between two female soldiers as they try to adapt to civilian life. The film won the Best Director Award at the 2019 edition of the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section and was Russia’s submission for The Academy Awards in the US.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by CHANEL, a brand that always puts artistry first”, Balagov says.

Beanpole, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and AR Content.