Aleksandr Sokurov was born in Russia in 1951. He studied History and trained until 1979 as a director at the Moscow Film School VGIK. His graduation film The Lonely Voice of Man (1987) was neither officially accepted by the school, nor given the right to be shown – as was the case with all of his films until the democratic reforms in the mid to late 80s -, but did win a Bronze Leopard at Locarno. In 2000, he founded the studio Bereg for non-commercial feature and documentary films. Sokurov has made numerous prize-winning feature films and documentaries, including: Painful Indifference (1987), Days of Eclipse (1988), Elegy from Russia (documentary, 1992), Mother and Son (1997), Moloch (1998), Taurus (2001) Russian Ark (2002), and Father and Son (2003), among others.