Film director born 9.01.1924 on the Kote Meshi Street, Tbilisi to Armenian parents. Studied at the Tbilisi Secondary School No.42 (1932-1942), entered The Institute of Rail Transport, studied vocal and violin at a music school and Tbilisi State Choreographic School.
In 1945, started studies at the VGIK under the tutelage of directors Igor Savchenko and Aleksandr Dovzhenko. Made his debut with the short film Andriesh (1952). At the Aleksandr Dovzhenko Studio he made films The Top Guy
(1956), Ukrainian Rhapsody (1961), Flower on the Stone (1962), Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964, 28 awards at 21 international film festivals), his script Kiev Frescoes (1964) was not allowed for shooting. At the Armenian Film Studio he made SP made film Sayat Nova (1968), and wrote 17 scripts (1968-1982) that were not allowed for shooting either.
On 1.12.1971 he delivers a speech to the creative youth in Minsk and falls into disgrace, he is accused of homosexuality and sentenced, finally excluded from the Ukrainian Filmmakers Union. Over 500 representatives of foreign intelligence sign a petition for his amnesty. SP is discharged in 1997, yet only six years later he is allowed to make his film The Legend of Suram Fortress (1984). It is followed by Ashik Kerib (1988, awarded in Itanbul, Lisbon, a.o.) and a number of scripts. Since 1985 he made exhibitions of collages, drawings and installations. Due to illness he discontinued the making of The Confession (1988), underwent a cure in Paris and died from lung cancer in Yerevan, 20.07.1990.