Vytautas Žalakevičius

Vytautas Žalakevičius
Born (1930-04-14)14 April 1930
Kaunas, Lithuania
Died 12 November 1996(1996-11-12) (aged 66)
Vilnius, Lithuania
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1956-1991

Vytautas Žalakevičius (14 April 1930 12 November 1996) was a Lithuanian film director and writer. His 1973 film That Sweet Word: Liberty! won the Golden Prize at the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.[1]


Vytautas Žalakevičius studied mathematics and engineering at Kaunas University for two years. From 1951 to 1956 he studied film directing under Mikheil Chiaureli and Grigori Aleksandrov at VGIK in Moscow. He shot to fame with his 1956 film Adam wants to be a man starring Donatas Banionis and his teacher, Juozas Miltinis. His best known film, Nobody Wanted to Die, starring Lithuanian and Latvian actors, brought him international recognition. From 1974 to 1980, Žalakevičius was a staff director at Mosfilm, albeit his Moscow period was less productive, so he returned to Lithuania. Žalakevičius devoted himself to establishing independent Lithuanian film industry, and still worked with international cast of Lithuanian, Russian and Latvian actors. He also thought directing and writing and worked for television.


Vytautas Žalakevičius was Artistic Director of the Lithuanian Film Studio. He was designated People's Artist of the Lithuanian SSR (1981) and People's Artist of the Russian SFSR (1980). He was co-chairman of the Lithuanian State Committee for Cinematography, member of the Lithuanian Writers' Union and the Soviet Writers' Union.



  1. "8th Moscow International Film Festival (1973)". MIFF. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
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