Russian director of the film Faust, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2011.
He began as a documentarian and was nominated for the Golden Lion in 1987 for his documentary Mournful Unconcern.
His 2002 film Russian Ark was filmed in one single, unbroken, 96-minute take.
His father was an officer in the Russian military.
He and German director Wim Wenders were both awarded the Golden Lion, the highest honor at the Venice Film Festival.