Between the state and the kino: Amateur film workshops in the Soviet Union

Author: Vinogradova, Maria

Source: Studies in European Cinema, Volume 8, Number 3, May 2012 , pp. 211-225(15)

Publisher: Intellect

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Abstract:

Film workshops were the most visible part of Soviet amateur film movement that has never been associated with home movies in the first place. Two distinct features of this movement were its high degree of institutionalization and close collaboration with professional film-makers. This article shows the impact of both conditions on the Soviet film workshop movement. It seeks the roots of Soviet amateur film culture in the 1920s avant-garde, and links the development of this culture to historic events and shifts in the Soviet official paradigm. The system of state funding for amateur film workshops created due to the efforts of professional film-makers in 1957 provided support, but was ideologically restrictive. Referring to examples from the 1970s and 80s, such as the studio Lomofilm in Leningrad, Iug-Film in Buguruslan, and underground film movements, such as the Necrorealist group, I will argue that that despite the dependence of film workshops on state funding, being on service of state ideology was neither the only choice nor the primary motivation for creation of Soviet amateur film workshops.

Keywords: Evgeni Iufit; Necrorealism; ODSK; Parallel cinema; Soviet cultural institutions; Soviet film; Soviet samodeyatelnost’; amateur cinema; film workshops

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/seci.8.3.211_1

Affiliations: New York University

Publication date: May 18, 2012

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  • Studies in European Cinema provides an outlet for research into any aspect of European cinema and is unique in its interdisciplinary nature, celebrating the rich and diverse cultural heritage across the continent. The journal is distinctive in bringing together a range of European cinemas in one volume and in its positioning of the discussions within a range of contexts - the cultural, historical, textual, and many others.
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