Spotlight on Timur Bekmambetov
Timur Bekmambetov (Kazakh/Russian: Тимур Бекмамбетов) was born in Guryev, then in the Soviet Union’s Kazakh SSR, and now known as Atyrau, a city in Kazakhstan.
At age of 19 he moved to the city of Tashkent, where in 1987 he graduated from Tashkent Theatrical and Artistic Institute of A. N. Ostrovskiy. After serving in the army, he worked in Ilkhom theater and Uzbekfilm. It was here where he started his career as a movie director, and met Viktor Verzhbitsky, a Tashkent-born Russian actor who became Bekmambetov’s closest colleague and played in almost all of the movies directed by him.
Between 1992 and 1997, Bekmambetov was one of the directors of the popular World History advertisements for the Bank Imperial.
In 2004, Bekmambetov directed Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor), a popular Russian fantasy film based on the book by Sergey Lukyanenko. The sequel, Day Watch (2006), was likewise directed by Bekmambetov. He also directed the Roger Corman-produced remake of the 1974 film The Arena in 2001, also titled The Arena starring Karen McDougal and Lisa Dergan. He shows a common soldier’s view in the film Escape from Afghanistan (1994) that was released by Corman with an English language soundtrack as a direct-to-video production in 2002.
Bekmambetov is currently directing Wanted, which is slated for release in 2008. The film is Bekmambetov’s Hollywood debut, and is based upon a comic series of the same name written by Mark Millar. Twilight Watch, the third of the Night Watch series, is expected in 2009. [wiki]