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Maya Deren (1917-1961) was a Soviet-born American artist, and one of the most important experimental filmmakers during the avant-garde in the 40s and 50s. She was also a photographer, choreographer, dancer, and poet.

Her most famous film is the 1943 production Meshes of the Afternoon, seen as a masterpiece of the American avant-garde. The film won the Grand Prix Internationale at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. She left behind many other films, as well as influential essays on film theory.