Lights! Camera! Action! Russian Film Crew Visits Seminary

Faculty members interview with the Russian TV program "Orthodox Encyclopedia."Faculty members interview with the Russian TV program "Orthodox Encyclopedia."

9 November 2010

Our campus turned into a film set this week, as a Russian TV crew produced a documentary about the history of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). The crew, led by Archpriest Alexey Uminskiy, host of the popular Russian TV program "Orthodox Encyclopedia,"  shot extensive footage around our campus, especially in the library, bookstore, and chapel. Fr. Uminskiy is also rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity on Khokhlovsky Lane in Moscow, where SVOTS alumnus Dr. Alexander Dvorkin is a faithful parishioner and the parish’s reader. 

On hand to speak to the camera were Professors Paul Meyendorff and Peter C. Bouteneff, both fluent in the Russian language. "The crew was interested in the mission of St. Vladimir's Seminary, and, particularly, in the roles played by Frs. Alexander Schmemann and John Meyendorff in its history. These two men are now extremely popular and well known in Russia," said Professor Meyendorff, who is the son of Fr. John.

"Orthodox Encyclopedia" is the major nationally broadcast Orthodox TV program in Russia. As its name indicates, it is an arm of the "Orthodox Encyclopedia Ecclesiastical Scholarly Research Center of the Russian Orthodox Church," which is publishing the huge multi-volume Orthodox Encyclopedia, an endeavor that has been ongoing for a decade and still continues.

The current episode being filmed was conceived to mark the 40th anniversary of the OCA's autocephaly, and to pay tribute to the late Fr. Dmitry Grigorieff, SVOTS alumnus and former faculty member. The film crew's short visit to the United States is limited to Washington D.C., mainly St. Nicholas Cathedral; St. Vladimir's Seminary; interviews with Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and with Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Sea Cliff, NY; and St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York City.

The TV program will be broadcast in Russia in January or February 2011. Soon after broadcast, the transcript and video will be posted on the Website of "Orthodox Encyclopedia" and the YouTube channel of the Russian Orthodox Church.