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Aleksandr Khanzhonkov

Aleksandr Aleksejevich Khanzhonkov (Russian: Александр Алексеевич Ханжонков; 1877 - 1945) was Russia's first cinema entrepreneur. He produced Defence of Sevastopol, Russia's first feature film, and Ladislas Starevich's ground-breaking puppet animations.

Born in a small village on the banks of the Don river in rural Russia in 1877, Khanzhonkov in 1911 founded Russia's first cinema factory, a limited company, whose main financial backer was Ivan Ozerov, an influential banker and member of the Russian State Council.

During the Russian Revolution, Khanzhonkov left Russia for a while, but returned in 1923 and was appointed director of the new soviet studio Proletkino. His career in Soviet Union ruined down in 1926: he was forced to abdicate after a corruption scandal struck Proletkino, and never worked in cinema anymore. Khanzhonkov retired and the rest of his life he spent in Yalta, living on personal pension from the state. There he survived Nazi occupation of Crimea in 1941-1944, and died soon after World War II ended, September 26 1945.


  • Ханжонков, А.А. 1937. Ранние годы русской анимации. Москва/Ленинград: Искусство.
  • Кузнецова, М. 1997. Александр Ханжонков. Жизнь за кадром. Москва: "Профил" No. 29.
  • Янгиров, Рашит. 2001. К биографии А.А. Ханжонкова: Новый ракурс. Москва: "Киноведческие записки" No. 55.

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