London Prestige: How long have you been making films and stage productions?
Amina Zhaman: I started my film career in 2012 with international hit feature “Right to Love” (USA) directed by talented Paul Kurti. Since then I keep making movies. Speaking of theatre, this year I founded International Luxurious Theatre AM/NA THEATRE. I made my first stage production “7 Days. 7 Nights” in former prison castle in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, in February this year. Very original location. Just as I always wanted. My second show “Faithful Wife” was premiered in Aseyev’s Palace in June 2017. It was a spectacular gala show in Rasskazovo, Russia. Both productions were supported by Cultural and Historical Monuments Management Agency (AUIPIK). I am preparing a new stage production at the moment.
London Prestige: What is your new theatre show about?
Amina Zhaman: It’s about soldiers’ life full of honor, discipline, absolute loneliness, lack of personal happiness.
London Prestige: How do you go about casting for your upcoming stage production?
Amina Zhaman: I pick the right actors for the right parts. I’m looking for a few special types and checking the best actors in Moscow at the moment. Some of them are very famous, some – not yet. My new show is going to be special, because its cast will include children, a student, bright star of Moscow theatre, international theatre superstar and an old aristocrat. I’ll have parts for people of all generations.
London Prestige: What do you hope people will take away from this production?
Amina Zhaman: That love for your country can co-exist with the world peace. My message is always humanist and very simple – peace on Earth.
London Prestige: When is the next screening of your films and tell us about any competitions/festival submission.
Amina Zhaman: My short film “Before Breakfast” (directed by Amina Zhaman, USA, 2014) was screened couple of weeks ago at International TV & Film Festival Slavic Fairy Tale 2017 in Sofia, Bulgaria, and won a special prize! I have no idea where the next screening of my 3 films (“Right to Love”, “Before Breakfast”, “The Movie Man”) will take place. Currently I’m focused on theatre. Once my new show premieres in the end of this year, I will have approximate schedule of first screenings of a war drama “Battle Fields” (USA, 2018) – short film written & directed by talented American filmmaker Anouar H. Smaine. I am an Associate Producer of this movie and am very proud of the result I saw this month. Hollywood star Sean Stone acts opposite Anouar H. Smaine in the movie. It is my second film project with Sean and first with Anouar. “Battle Fields” is already submitted to many prestigious international film festivals. Next spring its festival tour will start.
London Prestige: Tell us a bit about the other films you’ve made.
Amina Zhaman: Just as “Before Breakfast”, my latest short film “The Movie Man” (directed by Amina Zhaman, USA, 2016) is based on Eugene O’Neill’s one-act play of the same title. Both films are the first ever screen versions of O’Neill’s early works. First is monodrama in Greenwich Village in New York, second is a comedy in Mexico. In “The Movie Man” I was starring with 2 Hollywood actors – Sean Stone and Jack Dimich. It was a pleasure working with them. I can’t wait to start filming a new story soon.
London Prestige: How has your style evolved?
Amina Zhaman: Genres have changed – from social tragedy in “Right to Love” and drama in “Before Breakfast” to comedy in “The Movie Man”, but some things remained the same – high level of production and best actors. Needless to say that all my actors/actresses are attractive – both on screen and on stage? I guess it’s obvious for everyone. I want every story to be told by beautiful people. Esthetic is very important to me. I create art, I create beauty. I want to see more beauty in life through art.
London Prestige: What skills/personal attributes are most important to being successful?
Amina Zhaman: Talent, knowledge, faith in yourself, hard work, discipline and most importantly – initiative. One must be proactive in making his/her dreams come true. Nobody will knock your door saying “Everything is ready”. You have to be ready to make everything on your own. Depend on yourself and don’t waste time on things and people that are not pushing you forward. Look for best colleagues – aim high because if you keep growing on professional and spiritual levels, one day you will work with them. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. So, be prepared. Always. You never know who and when will support your project, but eventually it will happen. Way later that you expected, but it will happen. Does it worth so much struggle? Absolutely.