Russian author and screenwriter Yuri Nagibin specialized in penning realistic stories of ordinary people. Though he is best-known as an author, Nagibin studied screenwriting at Vladimir Khotinenko State Institute for Filmmaking (VGIK) from 1939 to 1941 and his scripts have earned him an important place in Soviet/Russian cinema. Nagibin has also won numerous awards at international film festivals. He published his first books in 1940 and wrote his first script, Gost S Kubani, in 1956. Nagibin's most important films include Alexei Saltykov's Predsedatel (The Chairman) (1963) and the internationally acclaimed Dersu Uzala (1975), the first Russian/Japanese co-production and the film that revived director Akira Kurosawa's career. Because he usually managed to remain independent of Soviet politics, Nagibin and his screenplays were often the subject of lively discussion in the Russian press.