Misha Maltsev is from the Republic of Sakha, North-Eastern Siberia and belongs to the Yakut-Sakha tribe, of Altaic-Turkic speaking peoples.
In the mid-eighties, when most people in the former Soviet Union were listening to state approved music, Misha 19s curiosity and passion led him to establish underground connections with international experimental musicians from around the world. By the early nineties he worked on TABYK Ethno-Music Festival with a group of like-minded producers and musicians. Today, the Tabyk Festival continues to be one of the leading Indigenous Music festivals in Siberia.
Misha then moved into radio and music production, launching a series of innovative radio shows for Yakutsk State and FM Radio and collaborated with some of the leading performers like Stepanida Borisova, Chyskyyrai and others. After the fall of the Soviet Union, he was instrumental in bringing Siberian musicians to the west for the first time.
At the beginning of the new millennium, Misha left Russia and began working in television documentaries. He has worked with BBC, Channel 4 and Al Jazeera International. As well as developing and researching a diverse range of projects he has recorded and filmed in remote locations across the globe. From travelling with huskies across Siberia (Snow Dogs, BBC2) and exploring Sufi drumming in Pakistan to reporting on the plight of women in Afghanistan (Al Jazeera TV), Misha has gained unique insight into the world’s disappearing cultures.
In 2004 he undertook an arduous three day trek through the dangerous jungles of Laos to bring out the first ever footage of the Hmong who have been trapped and hunted by government troops in this hostile environment for over thirty years. The film was nominated for the prestigious Rory Peck International Impact award, and today Misha continues to campaign tirelessly on behalf of the Hmong and has lobbied at the United Nations in New York and the European Human Rights Commission in Brussels.
Misha completed a MMus degree in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, London University. He initiated a series of highly successful collaborations with radical UK-based musicians and Siberian folk performers which resulted in two CD collections. In collaboration with London’s radio station Resonance FM, he established a series of practical training sessions where SOAS students learnt broadcast skills. This resulted in the creation of Open Air, SOAS’ own student radio station.
Misha continues to work in the field of documentary filmmaking and recent projects he worked on and completed include Shariah in Nigeria (BBC), Forced To Marry (BBC). He is currently editing a documentary about Indian democracy.
He has also done films for Channel 4, Arte, Al Jazeera.