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Oleksandr Makhanets

historian, researcher at the Center for Urban History. The research interests include media history, digital archives, photography, cinema, amateur film practices, digital humanities, social history, and visual studies. Oleksandr is the one of the authors of the online-course “Amateur Film-Making: History of Visual Modes and Creative Practices”.

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Documents (3)

Image for “A Collective of Individuals.” Booklet of the Volyn Amateur Film Studio, 1987
“A Collective of Individuals.” Booklet of the Volyn Amateur Film Studio, 1987
The source provided below is a promotional booklet from the Soviet amateur film studio “Volyn,” located in Lutsk. Unlike studios that were under the authority of and funded by trade union organizations, this studio was affiliated with the oblast department of culture. The booklet highlights the achievements and activities of the studio. This type of publication was widely circulated and exchanged at competitions and festivals of various levels. The presence of such printed materials could further indicate the level of financial support for the studio.
Image for Program of the amateur film competition “For You, Motherland, Our Hard Work,” Kharkiv, 1974
Program of the amateur film competition “For You, Motherland, Our Hard Work,” Kharkiv, 1974
This program is part of the multi-stage film selection for the Soviet-wide competition “For You, Motherland, Our Hard Work.” It features a compilation of works from the most active studios in the Ukrainian SSR at the time, including film titles and authors’ names. It provides information on the gender and social distribution within the amateur filmmaking movement, as well as its geographic spread. It is striking to note that most listed authors are men. Characteristically, each name is accompanied by a profession, though not always accurate, highlighting the diversity of individuals involved in amateurism. Attention can also be drawn to the film titles and their formats. Many amateurs utilized the professional 35mm format,...
Image for Resolution on work of Lviv oblast amateur film studios, clubs, and cinematographers, 1986
Resolution on work of Lviv oblast amateur film studios, clubs, and cinematographers, 1986
This document is a resolution of the Lviv Oblast Council of Trade Unions regarding the organization of an oblast seminar for leaders of amateur film studios, clubs, and cinematographers. It is a common example illustrating the degree of formalization and bureaucratic structuring within the coordinated amateur film community during the Soviet era. In its contents, we discern a distinct chain of command prevalent within the inter-republican hierarchy: the Ukrainian Republican Council of Trade Unions — the Lviv Oblast Council of Trade Unions — the Lviv Oblast Club-Laboratory of Trade Union Cinematographers — People’s Film Studio (one among several).
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Images (2)

Image for Members of the cinema club in the village of Novooleksandrivka, Ukrainian SSR, during a film shoot, May 1981
Members of the cinema club in the village of Novooleksandrivka, Ukrainian SSR, during a film shoot, May 1981
In addition to film studios, which predominantly comprised adults, the network of amateur filmmaking also encompassed groups tailored for children and teenagers, typically organized within houses of culture or schools. Oversight of these groups was typically carried out by representatives from People’s Studios and local film clubs. The archival caption of this photograph reads as follows: “Members of the cinema club at the House of Culture in the village of Novoaleksandrovka, Belovodsk district, Voroshilovgrad oblast, during a film shoot. From left to right: students Naydysh A, Petrov P, the club’s leader Kolesnik V. I., student Burian V. — village Novoaleksandrovka, 15 May 1981, by Y. Khromushyn (outdoors against the backdrop of a river).”
Image for Film amateurs of the steam locomotive and car repair plant, photograph dated of 1956
Film amateurs of the steam locomotive and car repair plant, photograph dated of 1956
“The initiators of a film studio at the steam locomotive and truck repair plant (from the left to the right) Slutskyn S.S., Art Club Director of Tool and Inventory Shop, Skybalo G.L., Director of Radio Broadcasting Center, and Zirka A.V. are looking through the first shots of the new film about the plant, Lviv December 7th, 1956". This archival record accompanies this photograph in the Central State Audio/Visual and Electronic Archive (until the recent times called Central State G.S. Pshenychnyi Filming Archive) in Kyiv. Despite it is the official representation of film amateurs that was probably created for the purpose of media publications, careful analysis of the details makes it possible to discern...
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Related modules (1)

The early vision of amateur filmmaking in the Soviet Union was characterized by the pragmatic idea of using the new media not only for entertainment but also to involve a wide range of citizens in the production of newsreels and to create a network of correspondents across the country to cover the construction of socialism. 

Related courses (1)

Amateur film is a phenomenon directly related to the technology of small-format shooting. It dates back to the end of the 19th century, but it acquired a mass character in the middle and second half of the 20th century. For many, filmmaking has become a means of creative self-expression, a tool for remembering and capturing important events in life, as well as an opportunity for leisure and interaction between people. Kilometers of film shot by amateur filmmakers still remain unreviewed due to the decline of technology and the private nature of filming. The legacy of amateur filmmakers is a huge layer of visual sources that witnessed the past from the perspective of a...