You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alexander Tatarsky, 56, animator

Founded production studio Pilot

Alexander Tatarsky, a dynamic and colorful figures in the Russian perestroika and post-perestroika animation world, died of a heart attack in Moscow July 22. He was 56.

While his own works were widely broadcast on television, he may remain best known for the production studio Pilot that he founded in 1988 — the first private animation outfit of its kind in the former Soviet Union. Pilot went on to train a whole new generation of filmmakers, as well as working internationally and on major projects at home.

He kept the studio going through the lean years of the 1990s, when state support for animation film projects was far from generous. On the international front, he was among the very first to bring foreign work into Russia, and also set up a school that set many on their future paths.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Tatarsky graduated from that city’s theatrical institute, and turned to animation in 1969, inspired by the example and work of Soviet animation legends like Yury Norshtein, as well as his teacher David Cherkassky.

Moving later to Moscow, he worked on a number of clay projects. including “Plasticine Crows,” “The Fall of Last Year’s Snow,” “The Reverse Side of the Moon” and “Gone with the Wind”; as well as the claymation titles for the long-running Soviet, and later Russian, childrens’ evening television show “Good Night Children.”

Tatarsky was for many years president of Russia’s annual animation festival, held in Suzdal. His last project, the largest in Russian animation history, was the anthology “Mountain of Gems” which was broadcast over the last two years on national broadcaster Channel One. To date, 30 of a projected 52 13-minute films have been completed, from directors from all around the country, and around the CIS. The fairy-tale stories illustrate the folk heritage of the country and all its different nationalities.

“The first book I remember, a collection of fairytales of the races of the Soviet Union, had the title ‘Mountain of Gems’,” Tatarsky said in an interview two years ago. “Though the project as we made it is certainly a work of art, it also has a clear political standpoint … What is happening in Russia is coming close to a state of ethnic war — and I don’t want to live in such a country. The inspiration was to show that one race doesn’t think itself better than another. I want to live in a country where tolerance reigns — otherwise there’s every risk that we will move towards fascism.”

— Tom Birchenough

More Film

  • Les Arcs's Co-Production Village Kicks Off

    Les Arcs's Co-Production Village Kicks Off 10th Edition

    Marylise Dumont’s “Black Dog,” Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen’s “Ashes and Snow” and “Each of Us” are among the 20 projects which will be pitched at the 10th edition of Les Arcs Film Festival’s Co-Production Village. The Co-Production Village will run alongside the festival which will be presided by Ruben Ostlund, the Swedish helmer of Palme d’Or-winning [...]

  • Maria Alché Debut ‘A Family Submerged’

    Visit Films Sells Key Territories with Maria Alché Debut ‘A Family Submerged’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID —  New York’s Visit Films announced at Buenos Aires’ Ventana Sur market, that the company has secured distribution in Mexico and Spain on Maria Alché’s directorial debut, “A Family Submerged.” In Mexico, the film was snagged by top indie production and distribution company Interior 13 Cine, distributors for Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s Colombian [...]

  • Macao

    'Clean Up' Takes Top Prize at Macao Festival and Awards

    Korean drama movie, “Clean Up” took the best film prize on Friday night at the closing ceremony of the International Film Festival and Awards Macao. The jury, which comprised Chen Kaige, Danis Tanovic, Mabel Cheung, Paul Currie, and Tillotama Shome, said: “’Clean Up’ is a powerful, visceral film which is symbolic and naturalistic at the [...]

  • Breaking Glass Snags Prizewinning Argentine Gay

    Ventana Sur: Breaking Glass Snags Argentine Gay Drama ‘Marilyn’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    In a last-minute deal inked at Ventana Sur, Breaking Glass Pictures (BGP) snapped up North American rights to gay-trans drama “Marilyn,” the feature debut of Argentine helmer-scribe Martin Rodríguez Redondo. The Philadelphia-based company has been on a mini-buying spree, having previously snagged threesome drama “We Are Three” at the Buenos Aires confab. BGP has bought [...]

  • Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in

    Paramount Inks Deal for Theme Park in South Korea

    Paramount Pictures has announced a deal to install a studio-branded theme park in an entertainment resort being developed in South Korea. The agreement was struck between Paramount and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which owns the Inspire Integrated Entertainment Resort in the South Korean city of Incheon. Mohegan has invested KRW 2.8 trillion ($2.4 billion) in [...]

  • Arca, Cacerola, Viento del Norte, Panda

    Arca, Cacerola, Viento del Norte, Panda Team on ‘Mental Health Not Included’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — In a return to film production after serving as president of Argentina’s National Institute of Film and the Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) and then as a member of parliament, film producer Liliana Mazure is teaming with prestigious counterparts in Mexico and Brazil on a three-part, pan-regional dark comedy, “Mental Health Not Included.” Lead [...]

  • IFFAM and Variety Celebrate Asian Talent

    IFFAM and Variety Celebrate Asian Talent Up Next

    The International Film Festival and Awards Macao and Variety combined forces for the second year running to put a spotlight on Asia’s acting talent. A well-attended meet-the-stars press event on Friday afternoon in Macau was addressed by leading local official, Maria Helena Senna de Fernandes. She turned the microphone over the five actors from different [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content