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Kantemir Balagov
Russia 2017 / 118’
Call Me by Your Name Faces Places

Closeness, Kantemir Balagov's acclaimed Cannes debut, is a stifling film. And no wonder, as we find ourselves, after all, in the boiling cauldron of the North Caucasus at the end of the 1970s, where survival requires loyalty to one's "tribe,"-their family and ethnic community. Balagov looks at his hometown of Nalchik through the eyes of a young Jewish woman who is entangled in a network of hateful tribal dependencies that she is supposed to sacrifice herself to in order to save her brother. Ilana (played by Darya Zhovnar, whose incredible energy positively bursts out of the framed) does her best to escape these limitations. In her effort to find freedom, she boxes with reality, while Balagov encloses her in her surrounding world like in a ring. The electrifying, somewhat brutal, and at times controversial debut by the 26-year-old director promises great things from this unique new film talent.

Małgorzata Sadowska


Cannes IFF 2017 - FIPRESCI Prize; Sochi Open Russian Film Festival 2017 - Best Debut, Prize of the Guild of Russian Film Scholars and Film Critics; Haifa International Film Festival 2017 - Special Mention; Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival 2017 - Best Film, Best Actress (Olga Dragunova); Montréal Festival of New Cinema 2017 - Best Actress (Darya Zhovner); 22. Forum Kina Europejskiego ORLEN Cinergia 2017 - Grand Prix; Festival Premiers Plans d'Angers 2018 - Grand Jury Prize, Best Actress (Darya Zhovner)

Kantemir Balagov

Born in 1991, Kantemir Balagov is a Russian director and screenwriter from Nalchik in Kabardino-Balkaria. A student of Aleksander Sokurov's, he completed courses that the director of Taurus ran at the state university in Nalchik. The Sokurov Foundation is the main producer of Closeness.


2013 Mołodoj jeszczo (śr.m.)

2013 Andriusza (dok., śr.m.)

2015 Pierwyj ja (kr.m.)

2017 Bliskość / Tesnota / Closeness

Cast & Crew

director Kantemir Balagov
screenplay Kantemir Balagov, Anton Yarush
cinematography Artem Emelianov
editing Kantemir Balagov
sound Andrey Nikitin
cast Darya Zhovnar, Atrem Cipin, Olga Dragunova, Veniamin Kac
producer Nikolay Yankin, Edward Pichugin, Alexander Sokurov
production Example of Intonation, Alexander Sokurov’s Fund, LenFilm Production
Polish distributor Stowarzyszenie Nowe Horyzonty
language Russian, Kabardian
colouration colour