Jury Polovnikov, friends and colleagues named him simply Mitrich, was born in city of Sokol of the Vologda region in 1954.
In the childhood he started to be keen on photography, and in 1974 Jury Polovnikov became the head of children's film studio «Romantik» in the native city. The uncommon talent of the teacher and the organizer, the artist and the director was shown here. The film studio under his leadership actively participated in meetings of young film-organizers, the All-Russia festival of amateur films which took place in the regional centre in 1979.
After the graduating in 1991 from the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography Jury Polovnikov has received the diploma of the director-documentalist. His talent was highly appreciated on the All-Russia and international film-forums. Jury Polovnikov has created about 80 films on cinema and a videofilm, many of which are awarded with prizes and diplomas of competitions of different levels.
So, in 2000, the film «Island of Salvation» received the higher award of the international film festival of slavic and orthodox films «The Gold Knight» – «The Silver Knight». Spectators and critics were struck with an original sight of the director on life of the remote monastery, finds of film-language of the author. For realization of the plan and the script the film crew studied during a half month life of eight inhabitants in walls of the Murmansk Dormition man's monastery, different destinies, different roads to the monastery and faith.
Sacred places of the Vologda land – monasteries, churches, monuments of architecture – take the central place in Jury Polovnikov's creativity. He has set an example of reference to spiritual traditions of the North, to an image of the native Land, the person on the native ground. His films are comparable to frescos decorating and enriching culture.
Jury Polovnikov has created an original annals of the Vologda land, film-portraits of our fellow countrymen. Wide popularity was received with pictures: «And life is so short», «Serafima», «Annual rings» (about women-widows, about difficult female destiny), «The First Guy in a Village» (about influence of national creativity on life of people), « Seagulls» (about rural teachers from Kaduy district), «Charonda» (about the missed city).
A theme of children and teenagers became to one of the basic in the creativity of our fellow countryman. The film «Chik-Trak» about destinies of guys from a children's colony and a sketch «Such Devilry» – a film-portrait of the known actor of children's cinema Georgy Frantsevich Millyar – were shot by him in his student's years. The known film «Fires of our childhood» is also devoted to destinies of children from a children’s home.
The young director stood at sources of the studio «Vologda-film». In 2000 Jury Polovnikov has headed the Board of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation in the Vologda region. He possessed the idea of realization of a regional film festival of documentary cinema in Vologda. In 2003 the film festival «The Vologda cinema» has united retrospective films from the fund of «Vologda Regional Film and Video Booking Service» and author's film-works of the Vologda directors – documentalists. Within the framework of the film festival 10 works of Jury Polovnikov were shown.
The talented director had most interesting creative plans: opening of a museum «Cinema of the Vologda Land», realization of game for teenagers «The Strong Link», the organization of children's festival of yard songs, shooting of a telecycle «The Vologda Backyards», creation of a cycle of films «People and Gods of the Vologda Land» and film «Puppeteer» (Vologda with eyes of a travelling actor with a doll), a series «Hagiography» and a film « Civilization»… Jury Polovnikov has finished shooting of a film about vepses, but has not had time to mount. The work is completed at studio «Vologda-film» by his followers.
In Jury Polovnikov's works his human qualities have found reflection – kindness, sincerity, the heartful attitude to people. The purpose of life of the director is expressed in lines from his book «Here is not there», issued in 2002:… I tell – all in the world is a decay,
But the world of my soul
Then lives, that
With its suffering
To facilitate life of others…
Talented pupils of Jury Polovnikov are: Alexey Konovalov (the first manager of videostudio of the cultural centre «The Russian House»), Vladimir Slobodyanik (the employee of the regional centre of детско-youthful tourism), Vasily Sokolov (the employee of Institute of Right and Economy), operators Sergey Baranov, Mikhail Makarov, Dmitry Chernetsov – continue his work, realize his dreams.
In 2004 within the framework of a Regional Film Festival for Children and Youth «Frescoes of the North» named after director Jury Polovnikov the premiere of the film about his life and creativity «Dream, becoming life» of director Elena Kuzminova, shot on studio «Vologda-Film», was held.