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Russia Behind the Camera: Archives, Art and Revolution

Join BAFTA award winning film and television director, Margy Kinmonth, for a masterclass exploring film making in Russia. The masterclass includes screenings of films by Kinmonth focusing on working with archives, art and the impact of the Revolution. These will be complemented by discussions on working with the archives of some of Russia's most established art institutions and museums, reflecting the impact of the Revolution on the Russian cultural and political scene. The masterclass will feature a sneak preview presentation of Margy Kinmonth’s new feature documentary in development - “Magic Staircase”.


Running time: 52 minutes

The day will begin with a feast for the eye and ear: a screening of “MARIINSKY THEATRE 1783 – 2008”, the anniversary film of the historic Russian theatre, directed by Margy Kinmonth. The discussion to follow will explore working with complete access to an institutions artists and archives.

Backstage, the Mariinsky is like a busy city that never sleeps. The film follows the production teams at work; it’s a labyrinthine world of underground passages full of scenery and costumes – a complete visual history of the Mariinsky. Miles of corridors link the rehearsal rooms, which are in constant use day and night. The archive, which was moved and hidden during the Siege of Leningrad, contains a wealth of unexploited stills and designs, which are seen here on film for the first time.


Running time: 85 minutes

In the second part of the day we will screen "REVOLUTION – NEW ART FOR A NEW WORLD", a bold and exciting feature documentary that encapsulates a momentous period in the history of Russia and the Russian Avant-Garde, directed by Margy Kinmonth. The discussion to follow will explore working with art and the Revolution's impact on Russia's cultural and political scene.

Drawing on the collections of major Russian institutions, contributions from contemporary artists, curators, and performers and personal testimony from the descendants of those involved, the film brings the artists of the Russian Avant-Garde to life. It tells the stories of artists like Chagall, Kandinsky, Malevich and others – pioneers who flourished in response to the Utopian challenge of building a New Art for a New World, only to be broken by implacable authority after 15 short years. Stalin’s rise to power marked the close of this momentous period, consigning the Avant-Garde to obscurity. Yet the Russian Avant-Garde continues to exert a lasting influence over art movements up to the present day. Revolution – New Art for a New World confirms this, exploring the fascination that these colourful paintings, inventive sculptures and propaganda posters retain over the modern consciousness 100 years on.


The day will conclude with a sneak preview presentation of Margy Kinmonth’s new feature documentary in development - “Magic Staircase”.

Telling the story of Russian theatre and ballet through the characters that formed it, tracking their unique lives and destinies. A celebration of a cultural identity, which has travelled down the centuries and throughout thew world, shaped by its extraordinary history. Margy Kinmonth’s exclusive filming access to the St. Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music, their apartment museums, extensive archive, and the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, where seeds of talent are grown.

Margy Kinmonth is a BAFTA award winning film and television director whose many credits include theatrical features Revolution – New Art for a New World (Foxtrot Films/Arts Alliance), marking the 1917 Russian Revolution, Hermitage Revealed, and Royal Paintbox (Moscow Film Festival) with HRH The Prince of Wales.

Kinmonth’s series Naked Hollywood (BBC) won BAFTA Best Documentary Series. The Strange World of Barry Who? (BBC) about Francis Bacon, won RTS Best Arts Film Award. WAR ART with Eddie Redmayne(Foxtrot/ITV) was nominated for BAFTA, RTS and Peabody Awards.

Kinmonth’s credits include Looking for Lowry(Foxtrot/ITV) with Ian McKellen, The Secret World of Haute Couture (BBC), Mariinsky TheatreNutcracker Story (Foxtrot/ITV), Outback ArtDawn FrenchSmoking Diaries about Simon Gray, Gormley’s Brick ManRemember the Secret Policeman’s Ball. Drama includes To The Western World (London Film Festival), Baker’s DozenCasualtyEastenders.

Kinmonth won Creative Originality Award from Women in Film & Television, 2009.

Kinmonth was awarded the Likhachev Fellowship, 2017.

Films screened by courtesy of

Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase DVDs of Margy Kinmonth’s films at the venue.


Russia Behind the Camera
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Earlier Event: 19 October
Russia of 2019
Later Event: 20 October
The Voices of the New Generation