Russia: cult film director Balabanov dies

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Russia: cult film director Balabanov dies

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Renowned Russian film director Alexei Balabanov has died at the age of 54.

His breakthrough movie, criminal drama Brat (Brother) and his film Voina (War) about conflict in Chechnya, became cult hits in Russia.

Balabanov made 16 films over nearly 25 years.

Russian media reports say Balabanov died after suffering a seizure. He is thought to have been ill for some time, though details of his exact illness have not been released.

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev used his Facebook account to express his condolences.