Vertov, Dziga (Вертов, Дзига; real name: Кауфман Денис; Kaufman Denys), b 2 January 1896 in Białystok, Poland, d 12 February 1954 in Moscow. Film director and cinema theoretician. From 1926 he worked in the All-Ukrainian Photo-Cinema Administration, where he produced the films Odynadtsiatyi (The Eleventh, 1928) and Liudyna z kinoaparatom (Man with a Movie Camera, 1929) and his first sound movie, Entuziiazm: Symfoniia Donbasu (Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbas, 1930). He used split screens, multiple superimpositions, and variable speeds in an attempt to support his theoretical claim concerning the power of the camera eye—techniques which influenced international filmmakers. Accused of formalism in 1937, he subsequently worked mainly on Soviet documentaries and newsreels.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]