Veteran film director Andrei Konchalovsky has won the Silver Lion for best director at the Venice Film Festival for his latest film, The Postman’s White Nights, a blend of fiction and documentary. Konchalovsky described himself as feeling like a kid at Christmas when picking up the award on Saturday night.
His 90-minute film chronicles the lives of people living in a remote village in the far north of Russia whose main contact with the outside world is through Alexei, the postman. Continuing in his signature style of “scripted documentary”, the director used only non-professional actors and let the script develop from their interactions with each other.
Speaking to news agency Itar-Tass, Konchalovsky described the film as “an attempt to make a film using other methods, inexpensively and independently from the market as much as possible so as not to be accountable to anyone for what you are doing”.
The son of author Sergei Mikhalkov and brother of director Nikita Mikhalkov, Konchalovsky started his career in the Soviet Union, where he directed a number of acclaimed films, including the 1979 historical epic Siberiade and co-scripted works with Andrei Tarkovsky. He moved to Hollywood in the 1980s, making his name with films Runaway Train and Tango and Cash. He has previously received two awards from Venice for anti-war film House of Fools in 2002.