Maria Vinogradova F'15

Maria  Vinogradova
Adjunct Faculty
Cinema Studies
New York University

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2015
Doctoral Candidate
Cinema Studies
New York University
Amateur Cinema in the Soviet Union, 1957-1991: History, Ideology, and Culture

This dissertation writes a history of the amateur film movement in the Soviet Union, focusing on its most productive period from the late 1950s to the early 1990s. At this time, trade unions, factories, and worker clubs sponsored amateur film collectives, enabling them to create a broad scope of films that ranged from newsreels, industrial, and educational films, to fiction, animation, and experimental works. The Soviet state-sponsored system of amateur film workshops created a film culture that was alternative, diverse, and polyvocal. Its output presents a unique record of the Soviet everyday from the perspective of ordinary citizens. Analyzing rare films, archival documents, and interviews, the dissertation argues that this record is authentic; film amateurs were not “hired” by the state propaganda machine to create a favorable image of reality. The dissertation regards this organized approach to amateur filmmaking as consistent with the turn that socialism took in the Soviet Union in the post-Stalin period.