I was one of the last babies born in Leningrad, USSR. No relatives were allowed inside the hospital. My mother held me up in the seventh floor window to introduce me to my father staring up from the concrete courtyard (I don’t remember this).
I spent my early childhood in Iowa. I would accompany my mother to the film lab at the University. While she worked, I would run around the building unraveling scarps of film tying them onto doorknobs and hiding them behind corners, turning the UI film department into a spider web (I clearly remember this).
I moved to NYC when I was 8. The grid of NYC’s Upper West side is my coming of age map. While in New York, I divided my time between books and teachers and the wilderness that I found everywhere in and around the city: at abandoned beaches in Staten Island, the palisade cliffs across the GWB, and most importantly in Far Rockaway and Montauk, where I took every chance to surf.
Close to Bard College I started to train my eye as a documentary filmmaker. I lived on huge estate 5 miles off campus called Rokeby. At Rokeby I was introduced to people with fascinating stories. Through Rokeby I sailed across the Atlantic on a small sailboat – the greatest adventure yet! At Bard I worked on my senior documentary film about salmon and a landslide in a Alaska. Back at Rokeby I would stalk deer with a bow and arrow.
Having been out of college now for several years I’ve been fortunate to make videos around the world. I make short documentaries everywhere I go: Peru, Hungary, Russia, Norway, Mozambique, and Alaska. Most recently I was awarded the title of National Geographic Young Explorer to finish a documentary about the search for a well known Russian ship that sank in Alaska in 1813.
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