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Denmark, 2002 (MIFF 2003, Documentaries)

Director: Sonja Vesterholt

Russian filmmaker Pavel Klushantsev had an extraordinary influence on an entire genre. The Star Dreamer explores the life and work of this visual wizard and the fantastic legacy of his films which transformed science fiction. Throughout his career in St. Petersburg, Klushantsev pioneered and invented legendary techniques for capturing planets, stars, space-craft and weightlessness years before Stanley Kubrick wowed audiences with 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In the early 60s, when clips of some of Klushantsev's exemplary films were screened to NASA technicians and US government officials, they were convinced that the Russians had beaten them in the space race and had sent back footage to mock them. Oscar-winning visual effects maestro, Robert Skotak (Aliens, Terminator, Batman Returns, Titanic) spent years trying to track Klushantsev down and here trawls through his many diaries, accounts of dodging the bloodbaths of the Soviet dictatorship and the decaying models that represent the remains of Klushantsev's work.

Dying blind and penniless, Pavel Klushantsev left an indelible mark on the history of film and inspired countless filmmakers. The Star Dreamer ensures that his name lives on.

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