Russian film director Alexei Balabanov dies at 54

May 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, May 19 (UPI) -- Alexei Balabanov, a prominent Russian film director in the 1990s and 2000s, has died in a village near St. Petersburg, a colleague said. He was 54.

No information about the cause of his death was released, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Balabanov made his first film, "Happy Days," in 1991. His breakthrough film, the 1997 crime drama "Brother," won the main prize at Russia's film festival awards.

He won international fame with his 2002 film, "War," which focused on the conflict between Russia and Chechnya.

Balabanov, who died Saturday, is survived by his wife Nadezhda Vasilyeva, a costume designer, and two sons, the Reporter said.

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