A truly international filmmaker, Kirill Mikhanovsky was born in Moscow, moved to the United States as a teenager, and made his first feature film in Brazil.
He began his movie career as an actor in short films made by fellow students at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, but he soon migrated to the other side of the camera. In 1995, Mikhanovsky saw Pedro Almodovar’s movie The Flower of My Secret, featuring the Brazilian singer Caetano Velosa. Inspired by the music to spend time in Brazil, Mikhanovsky decided to set his first feature in a tiny village there, on the northeastern coast.
In Sonhos de Peixe (Fish Dreams), Mikhanovsky directed an almost entirely amateur cast to tell the story of Jusce, a young fisherman who barely makes a living diving for lobster and looks forward only to spending time with his love, Ana, at the end of each day. The breakthrough film premiered during Critic’s Week at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, and won the Prix Regards Jeunes, among other prizes.
Mikhanovsky earned his MFA from New York University’s Graduate Film Program in film production, with a focus on directing and cinematography. Terra Terra, his first short, which he both wrote and directed, was invited to numerous festivals. Inhale, Exhale, a documentary short, received the Audience Award at the annual NYU Showcase at the Directors’ Guild of America.
Awards and Accomplishments
- Prix Regards Jeunes, Cannes Film Festival, Fish Dreams (2006)
- Audience Award, NYU Showcase, Director’s Guild of America, Inhale, Exhale (2002)