April 30, 2006

Russian Arc: Goldovskaya Returns to Mother Country for Lifetime Achievement Award

This past December, former IDA Board Member Marina Goldovskaya received the 2005 Laurel Prize, the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Art of Documenting History from the Russian Association of Non-Fiction Film and Television. The prize honored Goldovskaya, one of Russia's best-known documentary filmmakers, for her work in documenting the country's history during moments of crucial change. Several of her films became important evidence of life during the totalitarian Soviet system.

Goldovskaya, who lives in Los Angeles and teaches at UCLA, made a quick trip to Moscow between classes and finals to attend the award ceremony, which included a film the association had made about her achievements. The ceremony was broadcast in January on Russian channel SPS.

Goldovskaya taught in the Journalism Department at the State University of Moscow for 25 years before moving to the United States, and she says that many of her former students attended the ceremony. "I was really moved because this was an event where I could see everyone at once," she notes. "Usually I travel to Russia during the summer holidays for a few months, and I don't see many of my professional peers because everyone is on vacation. This time when I came, there were a lot of people who I hadn't seen for many years, as well as colleagues of mine who I still often meet with."

Another meaningful moment for Goldovskaya occurred when she presented the award for achievement in a first film--to the first woman to receive the honor. Goldovskaya had been the only female working in the documentary field in Russia when she first started.

Just because she's received a lifetime achievement award doesn't mean this accomplished filmmaker is settling down. Goldovskaya will be heading back to Russia this summer to shoot Russian Chronicle: The Diary of a Filmmaker, a piece that will look at the changes in Russia. In October 2006, her book A Woman with a Movie Camera: My Life as a Russian Filmmaker will be published by Texas University Press.