THE SAMANTHA SMITH PROJECT (51 min., 2005) is an experimental documentary framed by the historical narrative of Samantha Smith, the briefly-famous ten-year-old girl from Manchester Maine who became an instant media celebrity when she became then-Soviet premiere Yuri Andropov’s penpal at the height of the Cold War in 1983. The specificity of this historical moment is used to situate an exploration of larger themes including the relationship between documentary and staging, forms of collective and personal amnesia, the collision of Hollywood fantasy with real politics, and constructions of the ‘foreign.’

Braiding together the story of Samantha Smith’s historic journey to the Soviet Union with a parallel personal narrative of travel to Russia fifteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, THE SAMANTHA SMITH PROJECT explores the aftermath of the Cold War and the contemporary Russian landscape while meditating on notions of forgetting, nostalgia, and the manufacturing and dismantling of political enemies.




– reWIND 1989 film series, Romanian Cultural Institute Stockholm, Sweden (2009)
– Free Speech TV broadcast (2007)
– Bard College (April 2007)
– The Tank, New York, NY (February 2007)
– Free Speech TV Broadcast (2007)
– Chicago Underground Film Festival (August 2006)
– Pioneer Theater, New York, NY (May 2006)
– New European Film Festival, Vitoria, Spain (May 2006)
– New Haven Women in Film Festival (April 2006)
– Brooklyn Underground Film Festival (April 2006)
– Maine Women and Girls Film Festival, Portland, ME (April 2006)
– Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (March 2006)
– New York Underground Film Festival (March 2006)
– IDFA Amsterdam International Documentary Festival, Silver Wolf Competition (World Premiere, November 2005)