Woman with an Editing Bench

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15-minute short drama film written, directed and edited by Karen Pearlman; screen dramaturg Kathryn Millard.
•Winner: ATOM Award for Best Short Fiction
•Winner: Australian Screen Editors Guild Award Best Editing in a Short Film
•Winner: 50th Annual Worldfest-Houston Silver Remi Award in Historical Short Productions
•Winner: REEL Sydney Festival of World Cinema Special Jury Award for Best Short Film
•Winner: Auckland Film Festival Award for Best Actress
•Winner: Auckland Film Festival Award for Best Music Composition
•Official Selection Beijing Film Festval, 2017 (China)
•Official Selection CinefestOz Film Festival, 2016 (West Australia)
•Official Selection FFS Festival, 2017 (Sydney)
•Official Selection Reel Sydney Festival of World Cinema, 2017
•Official Selection Revelation Film Festival, 2017 (Perth)
•Official Selection Dances with Film Film festival, 2017 (Los Angeles)
•Official Selection Noosa Film Festival, 2017
•Film Prints collected for preservation and research scholar use by:
oNational Film and Sound Archive, Canberra
oVertov Archive, Vienna filmmuseum
oBritish Film Institute
oUCLA Film Archive
oAnthology Film Archive, New York City
oCinteca Nationale, Rome
oAnthology Film Archives, NYC
oCinematheque de la Danse/Cinematheque Française

"Woman with an Editing Bench" is about sustaining creativity and fighting repression.  In 1930s Russia, Dziga Vertov and Elizaveta Svilova make radical, groundbreaking films.  Stalin, threatened by their innovations, wants his henchmen to suppress them.  Vertov, unhappy and artistically constrained, is inept at working with the bureaucracy.  Svilova knows how to work the system laterally and from behind the scenes – as all great editors do.  She is also adept at working with Vertov’s mind, understanding what he wants to say and how he wants to say it.  Svilova’s editing makes Vertov’s genius possible.  Vertov’s eccentricity makes Svilova’s editing genius indispensable.  Inspired by a true story, this film pays homage to the creativity of Elizaveta Svilova – the unsung editor behind Dziga Vertov’s 1929 documentary masterpiece "Man with a Movie Camera" (No 1 on the "Sight and Sound" list of Best Documentaries of all time).  It uses her revolutionary editing techniques to reveal her thoughts and recuperate her legacy in the history of film.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherPhysical TV Company
Media of outputFilm
Size15 mins
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Vertov
  • Svilova
  • editing
  • montage
  • film


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