A graduate of Brown University with a dual degree in Russian and film, Robin Hessman received her graduate degree in film directing from the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow (with a “red diploma” of honors). She received an Academy Award® in 1994, with co-director James Longley, for their film, Portrait of Boy with Dog. During her eight years in Russia, Hessman worked for the Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) as the on-site producer of Ulitsa Sezam, the Russian-language Sesame Street.
In the United States, Hessman co-produced the Peabody Award-winning documentary Tupperware! She also co-produced the PBS biography of Julia Child, Julia! America's Favorite Chef. In 2004, Hessman founded Red Square Productions and was granted the position of filmmaker in residence at PBS station WGBH Boston to develop My Perestroika.
Hessman is an associate of Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Since 2006, she has served as the director of documentary programming for Amfest, the American Film Festival in Moscow. She currently divides her time between Brooklyn, Boston and Moscow.