PRODUCTION PERKS: An Evening With Timur Bekmambetov

March 8, 2018, 7 PM - 9 PM

SCA 112

You are invited to attend an evening with...

Renowned Russian-Kazakh film producer and director Timur Bekmambetov (Night/Day Watch, Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Ben-Hur, Profile, and more!) will be talking about new trends in filmmaking and in particular talk about the ScreenLife technique that was used in UNFRIENDED, SEARCH, PROFILE and several other upcoming projects. In addition, he will be staying to do a Q&A to answer student questions!

Open to all SCA students. Please RSVP by clicking on "Make Reservations" in the link above.

About Timur

Timur Bekmambetov is a Russian-born producer/director whose work spans genres and continents.

Bekmambetov was born in the city of Guryev, Kazakhstan in the former USSR. At the age of 19, he moved to Tashkent, where in 1987 he graduated from the Ostrovsky’s Theatrical and Artistic University with a degree in theater and cinema set design.

Between 1992 and 1997, Bekmambetov was one of the directors for Bank Imperial's series of popular World History commercials. In 1994 he founded the Bazelevs Group, an advertising, film production, distribution and marketing company.

Bekmambetov's first feature, Peshavar Vals (1994) aka Escape from Afghanistan (U.S. title), was a violent and realistic look at the war between the  Soviet Union and Afghanistan. The movie participated in several film festivals, winning a number of awards, including the Grand Prix at the International Film Festival in San Remo. In 2002, the film was dubbed in English and released direct-to-video by Roger Corman. 2001, Bekmambetov began his association with Corman when he invited an upcoming Russian filmmaker to direct a remake of the 1974 movie The Arena aka Gladiatrix, a feminist version of Gladiator.

Next, Bekmambetov produced and directed an eight-part mini-series for the Russian television commissioned by RTR Media entitled “Our '90s.”

In 2002, he directed and co-produced documentary GAZ-Russian Cars about the iconic GAZ car plant and it’s impact on the Russian history.

In 2004, Bekmambetov wrote and directed Night Watch (2004), a popular Russian fantasy film based on the series of books by a renowned author Sergey Lukyanenko. The film was highly successful in Russia, and at the time became its highest-grossing release ever, making US$16.7 million in Russia only. The sequel to Night Watch, Day Watch (2006), was also written and directed by Bekmambetov. followed up Day Watch with the smash hit The Irony of Fate: 2 (2007). This sequel to the famous Soviet comedy remains one of the most successful films in Russian history. Once again, it became at that time the most commercially successful movie release in Russia grossing more than $40 million domestically.

His Hollywood directorial debut was Universal Studios’ Wanted (2008), an action blockbuster about a secret society of assassins, based on a comic-book miniseries of the same name written by Mark Millar and starred Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy. 

In 2012, Fox released Bekmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper and Anthony Mackie, produced by Tim Burton.

Bekmambetov has also produced a number of films in the U.S. and Russia, including animated feature 9, first Russian superhero movie Black Lightning, micro-budget horror Apollo 18, sci-fi action The Darkest Hour. His Russian film company, Bazelevs, is one of the leaders in the domestic market.  In 2013, Bazelevs produced the third installment of its Christmas franchise Yolki, which became the top-grossing comedy in Russia.

The romantic comedy Lucky Trouble, produced by Bekmambetov and directed by Leo Gabriadze, was released in 2011 and not only became the most profitable film of 2013, but also received 9 nominations at the Russian Film Academy Awards. Lucky Trouble was the first Russian film to feature a contemporary Hollywood star – Milla Jovovich, who was joined by Konstantin Khabensky and Ivan Urgant.

His 2015, U.S .production, cyber horror Unfriended ushered in a new era of fear, unfolding over a teenager’s computer as she and her friends are stalked by an unseen figure seeking vengeance. The film grossed nearly 60 times its original budget.

In 2016, Bekmambetov directed historic action drama Ben-Hur, based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, starring Jack Huston as the lead along with a truly international cast – Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Rodrigo Santoro, Sofia Black D’Elia, Ayelet Zurer, Moises Arias and Pilou Asbaek.  Written by John Ridley and Keith Clarke, produced by Sean Daniel, Mark Burnett, Joni Levin and Duncan Henderson.  Executive producers were Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, John Ridley and Jason Brown.  The film was shot on location in Rome and Matera, Italy.  MGM produced and Paramount released the film.

Also in 2016, Bekmambetov produced revolutionary first-person project Hardcore: Henry with Sharlto Copley, Haley Bennett and Tim Roth that won People’s Choice Award at Toronto International Film Festival and got released by STX stateside.

In 2017, Timur produced numerous movies including dark thriller Search with John Cho and Debra Messing and historic drama Current War with Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Tom Holland and Nicholas Hoult.

His directorial project Profile with Valene Kane and Shazad Latif about a journalist going undercover to reveal vast ISIS recruitment network in Western Europe, will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, 2018.


Contact Information

Name: Jennifer Warren