Andrey Tolstoy

Andrey Tolstoy's picture


Andrey was born in St. Petersburg when it was called Leningrad, and grew up in Paris and Prague. His interest in film studies began at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he wrote a BA thesis on Federico Fellini. His dissertation at Yale is an interdisciplinary study of the grid (both physical and abstract) in Western culture.

Andrey has been playing with cameras since elementary school. Having trained in the essay film/video essay format at Middlebury, he looks where possible to integrate production into critical practice, including the “adaptation” of his doctoral thesis as a multimedia project. He has produced short films for a variety of NGOs, most recently Empower Dalit Women of Nepal, and the Sanela Diana Jenkins Clinic on Gender Violence in the Eastern Congo. At Yale, he has taught the Documentary Film Workshop, and is a member of the Visual Law Project, an activist filmmaking group at the Law School. His most recent project brought attention to the deportation of non-citizen veterans of the US Armed Forces. He is currently working on a film about drone pilots.

Andrey’s non-academic background also includes twelve years of work as a translator (written and oral, including simultaneous), primarily in news media and human rights reporting. He speaks Russian, English, French, German, Czech and Italian. His recent translations include two volumes of collected essays on North Caucasian asylum seekers in the EU, and the underground internet community in Central Asia.


“Where do we go when we go off-the-grid?”

Research Interests

Documentary film (history, theory, production); essay film; continental philosophy (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Deleuze); film theory; auteur cinema (Fellini, Lynch, Antonioni); history of science (geometry, cartography, scientific utopianism); Russian and European literature (Vladimir Nabokov, problems of translation, “world literature”); pedagogy and alternative critical practices

Education History

B.A., Film and Media Culture Studies, Middlebury College, 2010
M.A., M.Phil., Comparative Literature, Film and Media Studies, Yale University, 2015