Robin Hessman

Introduction (2-3 lines)

Robin Hessman is an award-winning filmmaker with a special interest in international stories. She recently produced "Simple As Water" which was shortlisted for an Oscar for Best Documentary (HBOMax). She previously directed and produced the NY Times Critics’ Pick "My Perestroika" - about the last generation of Soviet children to grow up behind the Iron Curtain - living today in Putin’s Russia. She has been nominated for a Producers Guild Award and has received several Peabody Awards

Robin's career began over 25 years ago, when she received an Academy Award®– with co-director James Longley – for their student film, "Portrait of Boy with Dog." During her many years living in Russia in the 1990s, Robin worked for Sesame Workshop (then CTW) as the on-site producer of Ulitsa Sezam, the original Russian-language Sesame Street. In the US, Robin co-produced the film Tupperware! which received a Peabody Award. Robin also co-produced the PBS biography of Julia Child. She is a founding board member and Vice President of the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Felowship.

In addition to her film and TV work, Robin has appeared on the PBS NewsHour, written for The Financial Times and produced radio pieces on Russia for the BBC’s The World. She served as the Director of Documentary Programming for the American Film Festival of Moscow for 5 years. Robin has been a Sundance Institute Fellow, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, a PBS Producers Academy Fellow, and a Filmmaker in Residence at WGBH Boston. She is a member of the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Robin has a BA from Brown Film (MCM) and Russian and received her graduate degree in film directing from VGIK - the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, Russia with a "Red Diploma" of honors. She frequently speaks at universities, colleges, and secondary schools on many topics including My Perestroika, Russian politics and history, the Cold War, Soviet cinema, documentary filmmaking, Sesame Street in Russia.

New Day Films by Robin Hessman

Awards & Accolades

George Foster Peabody Award, My Perestroika, Tupperware! Nomination for Simple As Water
Sundance Film Festival, US Documentary Competition - Nominated for Grand Jury Prize
Producers Guild Award - nomination 2021
Filmmaker Award from the Center for Documentary Studies
Special Jury Prize - Silverdocs/AFI
Special Jury Prize - Pravo Ljudski Human Rights Festival, Sarajevo
Grand Prize - ESCALES DOCUMENTAIRES, La Rochelle, France
Best Director – CRONOGRAF Documentary Film Festival, Moldova
Nominated - Grierson Best Historical Film, UK
Nominated - FOCAL Award for best use of Archival Footage
Global Issues Award - Mendocino Film Festival
Best Documentary - Milwaukee Film Festival
New Directors/New FIlms at MoMA and Lincoln Center, NYC
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