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Filmmaker Robin Hessman presents "My Perestroika"
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Perestroika"My Perestroika" follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times – from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. The film interweaves their contemporary world with rare home movie footage from the 1970s and ‘80s in the USSR, along with official Soviet propaganda films that surrounded them at the time. Their memories and opinions sometimes complement each other and sometimes contradict each other, but together they paint a complex picture of the challenges, dreams, and disillusionment of this generation in Moscow today.

Robin HessmanRobin 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, Robin worked for the Children’s Television Workshop as the on-site producer of "Ulitsa Sezam," the original Russian-language Sesame Street.

In the US, Robin co-produced the documentary "Tupperware!", which received the Peabody Award in 2005. Robin also co-produced the PBS biography of Julia Child, "Julia! America’s Favorite Chef." In 2004, she founded Red Square Productions and was granted the position of Filmmaker in Residence at Boston’s PBS affiliate, WGBH, to develop "My Perestroika." The project received the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant at the Full Frame Festival for a work-in-progress. In 2008 Robin was a MacDowell Colony Fellow.

Her feature-length documentary directing debut, "My Perestroika," premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival as part of the US Documentary competition and was screened in New York as part of the prestigious film series, New Directors/New Films, curated by MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Awards include a 2012 Peabody Award, the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award at the Full Frame Festival in April 2010, Special Jury Award at Silverdocs in June 2010, and special Jury Award at Pravo Ljudski in Sarajevo. "My Perestroika" was released theatrically in the US in 2011 and played in over 45 cities. It has been rated one of the top films of the year by leading critics, including the New York Times.

Robin is also an Associate of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian Studies and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Since 2006, Robin has served as the Director of documentary programming for Amfest, the American Film Festival in Moscow.

Robin Hessman will present her documentary "My Perestroika" on Thursday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m. in Fahy Hall 236 on Seton Hall University campus. The screening will be followed by Q&A.

The event is sponsored by the Russian and East European Studies Program and the Slavic Club.

For more information please contact:
Maxim Matusevich
(973) 761-9386


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