Kantemir Arturovich Balagov (Russian: Кантеми́р Арту́рович Бала́гов; born 28 July 1991) is a Russian film director, screenwriter and cinematographer. He has directed the films Closeness (2017) and Beanpole (2019).
Kantemir was born in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkarian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, RSFSR, in the final year of the Soviet Union, in a family unrelated to cinema. His mother is a teacher of chemistry and biology, she works as a head teacher at a local school, while his father is a local entrepreneur.
Since childhood, Kantemir watched a lot of mainstream movies, and at the age of 18 began to create his own small videos. Then, together with friends in Nalchik, he shot an Internet series with episodes of 10 minutes each. He didn't originally plan to pursue a career as a filmmaker, but decided to apply for the cinema workshop, led by Alexander Sokurov at Kabardino-Balkarian State University in Nalchik. Kantemir missed the deadline to enter the university as a freshman, but still wrote to Sokurov, asking to consider his application. He eventually got accepted to the workshop as a third-year student. As a result, he graduated from university on the course of the creative workshop of Alexander Sokurov.