Mikheil Kalatozishvili (Kalatozov) was born on December 28, 1903. He started his career in cinematography as a mechanic. He studied at Ivane Perestiani’s actors’ studio. He briefly appeared in Perestiani’s film “sami sitsotskle” (Three Lives) (he dances on the ship with Esma’s mother) and Tsutsunavas’s “vin aris damnashave?” (Who is Guilty) (Tariel’s friend). In 1925, he worked as an assistant to a cinematographer S. Zabozlaev on the film “aris damnashave?” (Who is Guilty). In 1926, he wrote a film script together with Nikoloz Shengealaia and Lev Push based on Shio Aragvispireli’s story Giuli. In 1927, he made a documentary “zahes” and “tskhenebi’ (Horses), Same year, a filmmaker Lev Kuleshov invited him as a cinematographer for his film “ortqmavali D 1000” (Steam Engine D 1000). However, shooting of the film was interrupted. In 1928, he made a documentary film with Nutsa Gogoberidze, “mati samefo” (Their Kingdom) based on the film chronicles of the 1918–1920. In 1928 Kalatozishvili went to Svanetia where he made a film “usinatlo” (The Blind Woman). Soviet authorities criticized film as too formalist and banned it. However, he used the shots from the film and other fragments for a new film “Jim shvante” or “Marili svanets” (Salt for Svaneti). In 1934–1936, he was a director of Saqkinmretsvi (Qartuli Filmi/Georgian Film). In 1936, Mikheil Kalatozishvili left Georgia for Leningrad (St.Petersburg) to continue his studies at the Academy of Art of Leningrad. In 1927, he completed master degree in art history. From 1937 onward he worked as a filmmaker first with Lenfilm Studio and later, from 1943 with the Mosfilm Studio. In 1944-1946, he was a head of a main committee of cinema production. In 1946-1948, he was a deputy minister of Cinematography of the Soviet Union. He was awarded Stalin’s Prize in 1951 and later he became People’s Artist of the Soviet Union (1969). Mikheil Kalatozishvili won numerous awards at the international and Soviet festivals. His film the Cranes Are Flying was the only Soviet film which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival. In 2005, The Cranes Are Flying was named best Soviet movie of all times by the cinematographers of former soviet republics. Mikheil Kalatozishvili died on March 27, 1973 in Moscow.