Roman Balayan

Roman Balayan is a director, screenwriter and producer of Armenian origin, whose films invariably turned into events before the collapse of the former USSR. He was born in 1941 in Nerkin Horatagh, Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. The creative path of the prospective director began at Stepanakert Theater, where he was an actor from 1959 to 1961. From 1961 to 1964, Roman Balayan studied directing at the Yerevan Theater Institute, and in 1969 graduated from the Kiev State Institute for Theater Arts. His directorial debut was in 1973 with "The Romashkin Effect". "Lone Wolf" (1978) was presented with success at Berlinale. His next film "Flights in Dreams and in Reality" (1982), became an absolute hit and was seen by 6 million viewers. Having captured the spirit of a whole generation with its flaws and weaknesses, the film was recognized as a program manifesto of the 1980s. In "Flights in Dreams and in Reality", a whole constellation of legendary actors strokes the audience with their acting - Oleg Yankovski, Lyudmila Gurchenko, Oleg Tabakov, the very young and yet unknown Oleg Menshikov... Balayan realizes his film projects using different genres and stories, the themes of human moral responsibility and the power of love stand out as most important - "Potseluy", "Khrani menya, moy talisman", "Pervaya lyubov", "Dve luny", "Tri Solntsa", "The Night Is Bright and Birds of Paradise". The characters in "Birds of Paradise" face up against the cruel state machine in the early 1980s, risk their lives to prove that nothing could deter a person from pursuing freedom, the dream of flying ... The film is a kind of continuation of Flights in Dreams and in Reality. Roman Balayan’s creative path he invariably defends all principles protecting the freedom of the human spirit and the creative impulses, unchanged by time and circumstances.

The state and power, on the one hand, and the man of the art, on the other, are incompatible. This does not mean that the artist can not create his art on commission. Both Rafaello and Michelangelo received commissions but all the time they used their talent as they wanted. The man of art must live out of time - I‘m not talking about myself, but in general. We should make movies not about the reality - there is documentary cinema for that, but about our hopes and dreams for it, what the reality should or could be. „This is our uplifting lie,“ as Pushkin says...

Roman Balayan was awarded the Sofia Municipality award for outstanding achievements in world cinema in 2018.