"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. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionments of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.
Robin Hessman has been a documentary filmmaker and producer for the past 15 years. She graduated from Brown University with a joint degree in Russian and Film and received her graduate degree in film directing from the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow, Russia (with a “Red Diploma” of honors.) Throughout the 1990s she lived in Russia making documentaries and working 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 Peabody-award winning documentary Tupperware! (directed by FC member Laurie Kahn-Leavitt.) She also co-produced a one-hour PBS biography of culinary master, Julia Child Julia! America’s Favorite Chef which aired on PBS on the series American Masters.
She began working on her current film, Russia’s Pepsi Generation in the fall of 2004 as a Filmmaker in Residence at WGBH Boston.
Robin is also the director of Documentary Programming for the American Film Festival in Moscow, an Associate of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian Studies and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Robin 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, will premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival as part of the US Documentary competition. It will be broadcast on PBS on the independent series POV in their 2011 season and is a co-production of Red Square Productions, Bungalow Town Productions and ITVS International. The film has been supported by the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Ford Foundation, ITVS International, the LEF Moving Image Fund, YLE Finland, and others.
Robin is also an Associate of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian Studies and is a Term 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.
Red Square Production
210 West Springfield Street, 2.f.