Timur Bekmambetov – film director
Almost any actor, director or producer dreams of a career in Hollywood. Alas, it is very difficult to reach such heights. And therefore the achievements of the Kazakhstan director and producer Timur Bekmambetov are really grandiose. Starting his career as a director of commercials that turned out to be very innovative for the USSR, he went a long way from low-budget movies to multi-million blockbusters that conquered the world.
Timur was born on June 25, 1961 in Guryev. His father is a descendant of the ancient and revered dynasty of Kazakh khans, whose roots can be traced back to the 10th century. The father was the head of a large energy company, and the mother worked as a deputy editor of a regional newspaper.
At his father’s insistence, the future director entered the Moscow Power Engineering Institute. However, Bekmambetov was not too interested in energy and other technical subjects, the young man was fond of the world of art. The future film star left the institute and was immediately drafted into the army, he served near Ashgabat for two years.
Then the young man went to Tashkent. There, the guy decided to continue his studies and entered the Tashkent Theater and Art Institute. In addition, Bekmambetov worked at the film studio Uzbekfilm and at the local theater. There, Timur worked as a production designer, his job was to create an atmosphere and decorations. But the modest studios of Uzbekfilm did not suit the ambitious Timur, and the salary was very low, so he decided to go to Moscow.
To earn money and have the opportunity to stay in the capital, he worked in one of the offices, engaged in the production of commercials. This genre of video in fact only began to develop on the territory of Russia and enjoyed great demand from various organizations. The first work was an advertising video for the bank Credit-Moscow.
Thanks to Mikhail Lesinsky, the director met with Sergei Rodionov, president of the bank Imperial. At that time Rodionov had a very grandiose project and was looking for a man who could realize it. Actually, Bekmambetov became one of them and created a whole series of commercials.
To realize this project, the future movie star had assembled an excellent team of professionals, which included many eminent actors, screenwriters and decorators. In the future, his mini-films received a huge number of awards.
In the movie, Timur made his debut as a screenwriter in the military film Before the Great Road to War (Pered bolshoy dorogoy na voynu), filmed at the film studio Uzbekfilm in 1987. Then the director was engaged in advertising business, in which he achieved considerable success.
In 1993 Bekmambetov began working on his first film Peshavar Waltz, he acted as a director, producer and screenwriter. The film was based on real events that took place during the Afghan war. In 1994, the film became the winner of many international festivals, but did not get wide popularity among the Russian audience.
You know, in the world of cinema, Bekmambetov returned only 7 years later, having received an order for the production of the 8-series film Our Nineties. Few people know, but the first joint work with his American colleagues was 2000, when he was invited to the film by American producer Roger Corman, famous for his films in the trash style.
Two stars of Playboy magazine, as well as Russian singer Yulia Chicherina, who was personally invited by the director, starred in the movie The Arena. However, the film did not get much fame.
A real breakthrough in the cinema for Bekmambetov was the movie Night Watch, which appeared in 2004. The film was preceded by a large advertising company, which successfully coped with its task. Almost all of Russia and the CIS countries eagerly waited for the first such a large-scale fantasy film. And the film made Bekmambetov’s name known to the whole world. America and Europe even bought the film rights, which rarely happened with Russian film.
What is more, Timur put Russian cinema on a completely new level, proving to the world that he was able to compete with famous Hollywood directors.
After the deafening success of the Night Watch, Bekmambetov was invited by American producer Mark Platt to work on the screen version of the comic Wanted in 2004. Platt was delighted with the cooperation with Bekmambetov, and in 2007 they started filming the film Wanted with Angelina Jolie in the title role. The film proved to be very successful both in the Russian box office and in the world. It received several nominations and Best Fantasy Film of the Year award.
Timur closely cooperates with the famous Hollywood movie studios, he has more than 5 films, made together with American studios and producers, in particular the sensational films Apollo 18, Phantom and many others. However, the director does not plan to move to America. For him, filming in Hollywood is something like a long trip, very interesting and useful.
The famous director was married twice.
Varvara Avdyushko became his second wife. They met at work, as Varvara is also connected with the world of cinema. The girl worked as a costume designer and, having met Timur once, she fell in love at first sight. For Bekmambetov, she became a muse, inspiring the director to conquer new heights.
Timur has daughter from his first marriage.