A fine filmmaker and a good friend has passed away. Suddenly, two days ago. I got the message from Ludmila Nazaruk from St. Petersburg, the hometown of Sasha. I saw him last time at the ”Message to Man” festival in late September, where he was proud that one of his students had won an award, ”The Conversation” by Anastasia Novikova.
Personally I knew Sasha from Balticum Film & TV Festival on Bornholm in the 1990’es, later we met many times around at festivals and in 2011 we were in jury together at the Moscow International Film Festival together with Michael Apted. Always full of energy, always trying to find funding for his artistic work, difficult for one with high ambitions = long shooting period, long editing period, good crews etc. He got to some films good help from Finland.
His film ”!7. August” stays in my mind, here is a clip from the review on this site:
”This fine Russian director has, apart from the masterpiece ”Frescoes” from Georgia, made a couple of very strong documentaries shot in prisons, ”Three Days and Never Again” and ”Blatnoi Mir” (directed by Finnish Jouni Hiltunen, Gutman was production manager), and here comes another that I do not hesitate to call masterly done as well…”