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, My Perestroika in the fall of 2004 as a Filmmaker in Residence at WGBH Boston.
The film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 as part of the US Documentary Competition. It will be broadcast in 2011 on the PBS independent film series, POV, marking the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the USSR.
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.