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Maya Deren

Film Director / Poet / Photographer / Writer | * 04/29/1917 († 44, 10/13/1961) | Kiev, Russian Republic (now Ukraine)
Maya Deren (born Eleonora Derenkovskaya, Ukrainian: Елеоно́ра Деренко́вська; May 12 [O.S. April 29] 1917 – October 13, 1961) was a Ukrainian-born (then part of the Russian Empire, now independent Ukraine) American experimental filmmaker and important part of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Deren was also a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer, and photographer. The function of film, Deren believed, was to create an experience. She combined her expertise in dance and choreography, ethnography, the African spirit religion of Haitian Vodou, symbolist poetry and gestalt psychology (as a student of Kurt Koffka) in a series of perceptual, black-and-white short films. Using editing, multiple exposures, jump-cutting, superimposition, slow-motion, and other camera techniques to her advantage, Deren abandoned established notions of physical space and time, innovating through carefully planned films with specific conceptual aims. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), her collaboration with her husband at the time Alexander Hammid, has been one of the most influential experimental films in American cinema history. Deren went on to make several more fi... ()
Photo of Maya Deren

Maya Deren (April 29, 1917 – October 13, 1961), born Eleonora Derenkowska (Ukrainian: Елеоно́ра Деренко́вська), was one of the most important American experimental filmmakers and entrepreneurial promoters of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s. Deren was also a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer and photographer.

Most frequent genres for this person: Documentaries | Mystery | Fantasy

Known for these Movies & Shows

Awards & Nominations for Maya Deren

Guggenheim Fellowship
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Movies with Maya Deren as Actress(7)

as herself2012 Maya Deren, Take Zero
as Herself (archive footage)1986 Invocation: Maya Deren
1944 At Land
as The Woman1943 Meshes of the Afternoon

Movies with Maya Deren as Crew(28)

Sound/Sound2023 Vever (For Barbara)
Writing/Writer2023 Vever (For Barbara)
Sound/Music2012 Maya Deren, Take Zero
Directing/Director2006 Cinema16: American Short Films
Directing/Director1959 Season of Strangers
Crew/Cinematography1958 The Very Eye of Night
Directing/Director1958 The Very Eye of Night
Editing/Editor1958 The Very Eye of Night
Writing/Writer1958 The Very Eye of Night
Directing/Director1951 Ensemble for Somnambulists
Production/Producer1951 Ensemble for Somnambulists
Writing/Writer1951 Ensemble for Somnambulists
Directing/Director1949 Medusa
Crew/Cinematography1949 Meditation on Violence
Directing/Director1949 Meditation on Violence
Writing/Writer1949 Meditation on Violence
Directing/Director1946 Ritual in Transfigured Time
Directing/Director1946 The Private Life of a Cat
Production/Producer1946 The Private Life of a Cat
Directing/Director1945 A Study in Choreography for Camera
Directing/Director1944 Witch's Cradle
Directing/Director1944 At Land
Writing/Writer1944 At Land
Directing/Director1943 Meshes of the Afternoon
Editing/Editor1943 Meshes of the Afternoon
Writing/Writer1943 Meshes of the Afternoon

Additional Information

Official websites:
Full Name: Eleonora Maya Deren
Born: Sunday, 04/29 1917 (April) in Kiev, Russian Republic (now Ukraine)
Died: Friday, 10/13 1961 (October) in New York City (aged: 44)
Zodiac sign: Taurus (Chinese zodiac sign: Snake)
Languages: English (EN)
Educated at: New York University, Syracuse University, Smith College
Represented by: Light Cone
Spouses (current/former): Alexandr Hackenschmied, Teiji Ito
Maya Deren frequently works together with these people:
Alexander Hammid (14x, Crew)
Teiji Ito (9x, Crew)
Hella Heyman (4x, Cast)
Deborah Stratman (4x, Crew)
Chi Chaoli (3x, Actor)
Jonas Mekas (3x, Crew)
Jo Ann Kaplan (2x, Crew)
Stan Brakhage (2x, Crew)
Cherel Ito (2x, Crew)
Frank Westbrook (2x, Cast)
Barbara Hammer (2x, Crew)
WatchPlayStream ID: PEOPLE:9048, Added: 05/06/2018, Last updated: 02/12/2024