Motion Pictures, Industrial

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Motion Pictures, Industrial


a type of scientific motion pictures, including films of practical significance that provide information on new technology and progressive labor methods in the national economy. Such films are also called technical propaganda films, although they are not always devoted to technical problems. In contrast to popular-science motion pictures, industrial motion pictures are oriented toward a mass but specialized audience—workers in individual branches of industry, construction, transportation, and agriculture. The purpose of industrial motion pictures determines the content and form of the films, which usually are based on documentary materialin the style of journalistic science articles.

Industrial motion pictures first appeared in the USSR in 1920, when Methods of Peat-cutting and The Hydraulic Peat-cutting Machine at Work, were produced on V. I. Lenin’s initiative. In his “Theses on Production Propaganda” (rough draft), Lenin introduced a special paragraph on the motion picture, entitled “The More Extensive and Systematic Use of Films for Production Information” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. vol. 42, p. 16). Films intended for the dissemination of production information were subsequently discussed in many documents of the motion-picture committee and motion-picture division of the People’s Commissariat for Education and were given the name “industrial motion pictures.”

Industrial motion pictures were developed on a particularly broad scale in the 1930’s, as the problem of personnel training and advanced training for workers in mass occupations became more prominent. The creation of the first automatic production lines and new methods of high-speed metalworking, the combination of occupations, and other achievements were disseminated by means of the industrial motion picture. Films have acquainted kolkhoz farmers with the scientific principles of crop-raising and animal husbandry and with the experience of the best farms and the best brigade and team leaders.

Industrial motion pictures use special filming techniques, such as high-speed photography in Innovators in Machine Tool Building (1956) and photomicrography in The Story of Milk (1959). In the 1960’s and early 1970’s, industrial motion pictures disseminated information on the use of automatic equipment, electronics, laser and ultrasonic technology, and electronic computers in various sectors of the economy and popularized the scientific organization of labor and planning and the experience of the most advanced enterprises.

In the USSR, industrial motion pictures have been produced at many studios for popular-science and documentary films, and also in the science film divisions of a number of studios. Industrial motion-picture festivals are held regularly in industry, construction, transportation, and agriculture by the departments concerned, in conjunction with Goskino and the Cinematographers’ Union of the USSR.

Industrial motion pictures exist in all industrially developed countries. In capitalist states, films on the intensification and increased efficiency of production, safety engineering, and other fields are produced by motion-picture studios that belong to large trusts, concerns, and syndicates. In socialist countries, industrial motion pictures are filmed at state studios for popular-science and documentary films. International festivals of industrial motion pictures are held in Budapest and Antwerp every three years and in Brussels and Belgrade every two years. The Council of European Industrial Associations holds an annual industrial film festival.


Zguridi, A., and I. Vasil’kov. Nauchnoe kino ν SSSR, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1959.
Morgenshtern, V. V. “Na glavnom napravlenii.” In the collection Nauchno-populiarnyi fil’m, issue 1. Moscow, 1959.
Vasil’kov, I. Ekran i nauka. Moscow, 1967.
Vasil’kov, I. Ideia i tema ν nauchno-populiarnom stsenarii ifil’me. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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