Born February 25, 1959 in Sverdlovsk. In 1966-1976 he studied there in high school. He graduated from the translation department of the Gorky Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages. In 1981-1983 he served as an officer in the Soviet Army (in the 339th Military Transport Aviation Regiment of the Military Air Forces Military Transport Aviation in Vitebsk), flew to countries in Africa and Asia. This experience is reflected in the painting "Cargo 200". Participant in the war in Afghanistan. Shortly before the end of the service he was transferred to the Navy. Since then, his favorite clothing was a sea vest. Four years worked as an assistant director at the Sverdlovsk Film Studio. In 1990, he graduated from the Directing Department of Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Directors (experimental workshop “Author's Cinema” L. Nikolaev, B. Galantera). The first feature film, 26-year-old Balabanov, shot in the Urals in 1987. The film script was written overnight. This low-budget picture was taken in a restaurant. In the film, the group played Nautilus Pompilius, with the leader of which Vyacheslav Butusov the director was familiar. In the crowd were busy visitors places. After the debut in each subsequent film, Balabanov shot non-professional artists, seeking the most natural and convincing embodiment of the everyday twists and turns of his characters through artistic images. Since 1990, Balabanov lived and worked in St. Petersburg. In 1992, together with producer Sergey Selyanov, he established the STV film company, with which he made most of the films.