He was born in Ukrania and completed his studies of cinema at the Theater Arts Institute of Kiev. The short film he directed at the end of his studies was La Mouette. He then made L’Horizon argenté, in 1979: because of it, Mosfilms studios forbid him being a director. In 1987, the conflicts committee of the filmakers union rehabilitated his two short films but they never released because they had been destroyed. In 1985, the Odessa studios allowed him to make another short film, Le téléphone, and his first feature film, Mars froid, shown at The Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes.