At the Helm: Women Filmmakers

Terra Hall

The School of Film presents "At the Helm: Women Filmmakers," a visiting artist program with special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The new program continues with a master class, film screening and Q&A session by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robin Hessman.

"Robin Hessman: The Relationship Between Filmmaker and Subject" master class will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in 1408 Terra Hall. The class is free and open to the public and the University community, but there is limited space and pre-registration is required. Please e-mail to reserve your spot.

Hessman will discuss how she selected and developed a relationship with the central characters in her documentary “My Perestroika.” Shooting alone over the course of three years, she will reflect upon the challenges and obstacles of the filmmaking process, and how the relationship between maker and subject influenced the storytelling and tone of her film.

A screening of "My Perestroika" will be held at 8 p.m. in Connelly Auditorium, 806 Terra Hall, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. The screening is free and open to the public and the University community.

About My Perestroika
When the USSR broke apart in 1991, a generation of young people faced a new realm of possibilities. An intimate epic about the extraordinary lives of this last Soviet generation, Hessman’s feature documentary debut tells the stories of five Moscow schoolmates who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain, witnessed the joy and confusion of glasnost, and reached adulthood right as the world changed around them. Through candid first-person testimony, revealing verité footage and vintage home movies, Hessman, who spent many years living in Moscow, reveals a Russia rarely ever seen on film, where people are frank about their lives and forthcoming about their country. Engaging, funny and positively inspiring, in "My Perestroika" politics is personal, honesty overshadows ideology and history progresses one day, one life at a time.

About Robin Hessman
Hessman graduated from Brown University with a dual degree in Russian and Film. She received her graduate degree in film directing from the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow (with a "red diploma" of honors). She received an Academy Award in 1994 – with co-director James Longley – for their student film, "Portrait of Boy with Dog." During her eight years living in Russia, she worked for the Children’s Television Workshop as the on-site producer of "Ulitsa Sezam," the original Russian-language "Sesame Street." Her feature-length documentary directing debut, "My Perestroika," premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was screened at New Directors/New Films, curated by MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. It won the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award at the Full Frame Festival in April 2010, a Special Jury Award at Silverdocs, and a Special Jury Award at Provo Ljudski in Sarajevo, among others. In 2012, "My Perestroika" received a George Foster Peabody Award.

Terra Hall
211 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

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