Danish filmmaker Sonja Vesterholt talks about the subject of her 2002 documentary The Star Dreamer, Pavel Klushantsev.
Klushantsev (1910-1999) was a Russian film-maker and self-taught special effects engineer who devised many effects and techniques used in major motion pictures for decades to come. He produced a series of educational films about the cosmos following WWII, becoming increasingly ambitious in his inventive speculations on man's conquest of the cosmos. Released one month after the successful launch of Sputnik I, Road to the Stars (Doroga k zvezdam, 1957) became electrifying propaganda for the USSR when it was shown by Walter Cronkite on CBS to illustrate the Soviet vision of space travel. Long rumoured to be an important influence on Stanley Kubrick when developing 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Klushantsev fell into relative obscurity not long after the release of his first and only science-fiction feature film Planet of Storms (Planeta bur, 1962), but was 're-discovered' by Hollywood visual effects guru Robert Skotak. The BFI is currently developing a DVD collection of rarely seen works by this important Russian film pioneer.