"In the past, the director of the film was an athlete."
Translation:В прошлом режиссёр фильма был спортсменом.
Thanks for the response. The more I think about it, I will be reporting this as an error and I would encourage others to do the same. Learning a language is about communicating ideas, not translating words one-to-one. I realize the course creators may disagree with me but the best I can do is report it and move on.
I don't think so, but it would be better to have a native speaker answer. However, consider it from the angle "what question does this answer?"
The last thing is the sentence is "в прошлом", so it would normally be an answer to the question "When was the director of the film an athlete?" Answering "in the past" is rather obvious information (unless he still is). So it's a bit odd.
So: What question does the suggested translation answer?
First, "фильм директора" means "the director's film". The correct word order would be "директор фильма".
Second, it would still be an inacurate translation, because in Russian the term for the "movie director" is only "режиссёр". You can encounter a "директор фильма" in the credits of old Soviet movies but that's actually a term for an executive producer, not a director.
Director of a company, principal/headmaster of a school... see Wiktionary (excellent resource): https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%B4%D0%B8%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BA%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%80#Russian