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Meet Voices that Matter Scholarship 2022 Recipient – Anastasiya Plotnikova

By Elise Czyzowska

24 February 2023

MetFilm School is thrilled to introduce the first of our 2022 Voices that Matter: Women in the Screen Industries Scholarship recipients, Anastasiya Plotnikova.

Meet Anastasiya Plotnikova

Anastasiya grew up in Mariupol City, Ukraine, and in fact, when she found out that she had won the Voices that Matter Scholarship, her first thought was: ‘I’ll have to move to Berlin – how am I going to do that?!’.

Growing up, and through her professional life, Anastasiya noted how the male-dominance of the screen industry quickly ‘coloured my idea of what I could do, and how I could do it.’

This all changed, however, when she watched Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow

‘As the last scene played,’ Anastasiya said, ‘I saw Claudia’s name, and then the film’s cinematographer: Natasha Braier. That really struck me – another female name’.

‘Those credits opened a whole new world for me – the world of female perspectives in cinematography. It was another way of seeing things, another way of telling stories. Since then, I’ve been learning to trust and nurture my own, female vision.’

Watch the trailer for The Milk of Sorrow

Why MA Cinematography?

Film – and in particular, the craft of cinematography, has always been important to Anastasiya: ‘From the first moment I picked up my father’s old Panasonic camera, I feel like I never put it back down’.

What started as a hobby quickly became a passion, and then a profession, with her first job as a photojournalist. Through her MA Cinematography degree, she hopes to continue developing her technical skill set, and to take advantage of her new filmmaking community, to ‘collaborate with people from all roads of life’. ‘This,’ she added, ‘is what makes my life feel “full”‘.

A behind-the-scenes look at a recent MA Cinematography workshop with our Berlin students…

Looking to the future…

‘To get a chance to pursue my studies allows me to continue exploring the language of cinematography,’ Anastasiya explained, ‘and to strengthen my professional voice. But it also allows me to express my purpose in life, which strives to find a way to exist, speak, see, show, and defeat the darkness of silence.’

Having had to leave her hometown due to Russian occupation, she reflected on the wider journey that her degree signifies:

Sometimes, life gives you great people who will shift your work vision, and elevate you to the next level. Sometimes, it makes you face life-changing events which might have you rethinking your entire life or career.

I’m trying to stay flexible and let the future unfold like a plot in a good movie – with all the unexpected shifts and turns that make it memorable.

Anastasiya PlotnikovaMA Cinematography Student

Anastasiya Plotnikova is studying MA Cinematography at our Berlin campus

Voices that Matter: Women in the Screen Industries

‘The possibilities that this scholarship has provided me with allow me to return to my previous ‘life plan’, before the chaos caused by the war. When everything else was taken away, my professional development became the only island of stability, and of normality.’

On the importance of this scholarship, Anastasiya continued:

I dream of more female cinematographers, gaffers, and technicians. I want them to stop being seen as the exception on set. I dream of us all working to create a culture of respect towards every person working in the industry.

When I came across MetFilm School’s website, and this scholarship, I realised that the School had the values and views that I wanted to see in the screen industries: inclusivity and diversity, without nepotism, without disrespect, and without an unquestioned male dominance. I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

Anastasiya PlotnikovaMA Cinematography Student

This scholarship covers the full tuition fees for the selected programme of study, either at undergraduate or postgraduate level, and is assessed based on financial need, as well as talent and achievement in the screen industries. There is one scholarship available, in either London, Berlin, or Leeds, and you can learn more about our eligible courses below.