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St. Olaf to honor Russian filmmaker

By David Gonnerman '90
November 2, 2010

St. Olaf College will award an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Karen Georgievich Shakhnazarov, president and general director of Russia’s Mosfilm studio, during a convocation ceremony November 11 in Boe Memorial Chapel. The event, which is part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the college’s Russian Language and Area Studies Department, is free and open to the public and will be streamed live and archived online.

A poster for the Oscar-winning epic War and Peace.

In connection with the event, the Flaten Art Museum is hosting Art of Mosfilm: Art and Craft of Russian film, an exhibit that looks at the history of Russian film through posters, stills, set design sketches, and film clips. The opening reception for the show, which opens November 6 and runs through December 12, will take place at the exhibit following the convocation ceremony.

Shakhnazarov’s films (two of which will be screened publicly November 10 and 11) have received more than 50 international and Russian prizes, plus two Oscar nominations. For the past 15 years he has given visiting St. Olaf students tours of Mosfilm plus question-and-answer sessions with him. In addition, he has donated copies of all his films and those of many other Russian filmmakers to the college, which has helped St. Olaf develop a rich collection of Russian cinematography.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or