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Annette Insdorf

INSDORF, ANNETTE, U.S. film scholar. Insdorf was born in Paris, France, to Polish immigrants and raised in New York. She earned her B.A. at Queens College in 1972 and received her Ph.D. in English from Yale University in 1975. She is best known for her book Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust (1983), widely considered to be the definitive exploration of the subject. The book catalogues the variety of films made about the Shoah and discusses the ethical responsibilities of films that attempt to depict the Holocaust while at the same time remaining commercially viable. For the updated third edition (2002), she received the National Board of Review's William K. Everson Award in Film History. Insdorf also earned great renown for her scholarship and books on French New Wave director Francois Truffaut and Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski and is universally acknowledged as the authority on their work. In 1986, the French Ministry of Culture named Insdorf Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres; in 1993, she received the Palmes Academiques; and in 1999, she was promoted to Officer of the Arts. She served as a jury member at several film festivals, including Telluride and Cannes. Insdorf was also the executive producer of two short films: Shoeshine, nominated for an Academy Award and winner of the Grand Prize at the 1987 Montreal Film Festival; and Performance Pieces, awarded Best Fiction Short at Cannes in 1989. From 1982, Insdorf taught at Columbia University and was chair of the Graduate Film Division from 1990 to 1995. She subsequently served as director of Undergraduate Film Studies.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.