Sergei Bodrov Junior (pictured) and 49 members of his film crew are still missing, one week after a major avalanche hit a valley in Southern Russia where he was directing his latest film.

Rescue workers are continuing to search for survivors from the avalanche which may have claimed as many as 150 lives. However, Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu admitted that there was little chance that anyone was left alive.

Bodrov Jr and his crew were shooting in the area when a wall of mud and ice weighing as much as 3,000 tons roared down the valley at more than 100km an hour. The avalanche was triggered by the collapse of a 150m high chunk of glacier.

In Moscow, the film community was still hoping for a miracle that would find the young actor and director and his crew still alive, but as time passes the chances are growing slimmer.

Bodrov Jr is married with a wife Svetlana and two children Olga, aged four, and his four months old son.

Bodrov Jr was directing his second feature, The Messenger , which he also scripted and plays the leading role in, when the tragedy struck. The film, produced by St Petersburg based STV Productions headed by Sergei Selyanov, had been shooting for only a few days.

The Messenger had been described by Bodrov Jr as a contemporary story about the moral choices people have to make in their lives and the roads they decide to go down.

His debut as a director The Sisters had already established him as one of Russia's brightest young directing talents. Most international audiences know the 30 year old Bodrov Jr from his role in his father Sergei Bodrov's Oscar nominated Prisoner Of The Mountain (1995).

Bodrov Jr has acted in a number of his father's films but in Russia he has become a major star for his work as a TV presenter and his roles in Alexei Balabanov's Brother and Brother 2 which were some of the biggest domestic box office hits of the past ten years.