In 1996, Russian director Sergei Bodrov won international acclaim with his drama Kavkazsky Plennik/Prisoner of the Mountains, the tragic tale of two Russian soldiers held captive in a remote Caucasian village. The drama earned Bodrov Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Foreign Film, a European film award for its script, several Nika awards, and the Best Film Prize at the San Diego Film Festival. Before studying screenwriting at Russia's premiere film school, VGIK, in 1971, Bodrov studied at the Institute of Energetics for two years. Following his 1974 graduation from VGIK, Bodrov spent three years as a special correspondent for Krokodil magazine. When not contributing articles, he wrote screenplays, with little success until the early '80s. Bodrov made his first foray into film direction in 1984 with Sladky Son Vnutri Travy/Sweet Dreams in the Grass which he co-helmed with Amanbe Alpiev. As with most of his subsequent features, Bodrov also contributed to the screenplay. In addition to directing, Bodrov is a prolific publisher of short stories and essays.