Cinematographers Union of the USSR

Cinematographers’ Union of the USSR


a professional organization of employees of the film-making and television industries. The union includes the following from the filmmaking industry: directors, screenwriters, actors, cameramen, artists, composers, sound engineers, critics, screenplay editors, and film editors. Members representing the television industry include directors, cameramen, writers, artistic directors, and editors. The union also includes scientific and technical workers.

The purpose of the Cinematographers’ Union is to assist the creation of films that affirm communist ideology and promote the molding of high artistic taste. The union helps develop the Marxist-Leninist theory of film-making, aids the development of filmmaking among the various Soviet nationalities, and aids in the ideological and aesthetic education of young people. It also helps organize film production and distribution.

The organizational committee of the Cinematographers’ Union was formed in 1957 and was headed by I. A. Pyr’ev. At the founding congress of cinematographers, held in November 1965, a charter was adopted and the union’s administrative board was elected. The highest administrative body of the union is the All-Union Congress, which is convened once every four years; congresses have been held in 1969,1973, and 1976. The executive body, the administrative board, is in charge of the union’s activities between congresses. The administrative board elects a presidium and a secretariat and forms commissions on professional and day-to-day matters. L. A. Kulidzhanov became the board’s first secretary in 1965. Every Union republic except the RSFSR has a republic cinematographers’ union. Divisions of the union are located in autonomous republics and cities that have at least 30 permanently employed union members.

The Cinematographers’ Union has 5,199 members (1976). It regularly holds conferences of the film-making industry, discussions, screenings of Soviet and foreign films, symposia, film festivals, competitions, and seminars. In 1959 the Bureau of Propaganda of Soviet Film-making was founded under the auspices of the union. It organizes lectures and exhibitions and publishes various books, brochures, and booklets on the cinema. The publications of the union are the magazines Iskusstvo kino (Art of the Cinema) and Sovetskii ekran (The Soviet Screen), which are put out in collaboration with the State Committee on Cinematography of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Members of the union participate in numerous international film organizations.