London Prestige caught up with successful filmmaker Amina Zhaman, who was the Face Ambassador for the 7th Edition of the International Filmmaker Festival of New York. Amina told us about meeting some of the stars on the red carpet, and her favorite moments at the Film Festival, held at the legendary Kaufman Astoria Studios.
London Prestige: Congratulations for hosting the Red Carpet Media Corner Interviews at the 7th International Filmmaker Festival of New York. You got to meet celebrities, VIPs and filmmakers from around the world. How was your Red Carpet Experience?
Amina Zhaman: It was absolutely amazing! I will never forget this evening. I had so much fun and joy! The opportunity to talk to most talented filmmakers from around the world is priceless. And I am so grateful to IFFNY’s founder and director Mrika Krasniqi for giving me such opportunity. Each filmmaker was different and unique, but most of all I loved talking to the team of a feature drama “The Kiss” (directed by Murilo Benicio) from Brazil and team of a feature hit film “One Bedroom” (directed by Darien Sills-Evans). I also had a great time interviewing Giorgio Kolaj – sponsor of the festival turned movie star, very charismatic, intelligent and nice person. All guests of IFFNY 2018 truly love cinema that’s why festival was so incredible this year.
London Prestige: What did you enjoy about the IFFNY Film Festival this year?
Amina Zhaman: Opening night, round table panel discussion at Paul’s on Times Square, closing night and especially I enjoyed watching “One Bedroom” – I had so much fun and laughed out loud throughout the movie. Script, acting and directing were so brilliant there – it all made a movie breathtaking. Plus beautiful views of New York. I’d love to watch this movie again.
London Prestige: Who were you excited to see on the Red Carpet?
Amina Zhaman: Hugely gifted directors from different countries. I’m always happy to meet new people, especially at the international film festivals. And, of course, I was happy to see super women Mrika Krasniqi and Ermira Babamusta who always bring so much class, glamour and light to every carpet they walk on.
London Prestige: This year the films screened at Kaufman Astoria Studios and Producers Club Theaters. What movies did you see at IFFNY 2018 that you loved?
Amina Zhaman: “One Bedroom” is my #1 of IFFNY 2018, “The Kiss” was brilliantly made too, also I loved short films “fiSOlofia” (directed by Nicola Palmeri) from Italy and “The Last Dance of Walter Vintorp” (directed by Neuray Claude) from Belgium.
London Prestige: What are three tips in successfully hosting the Red Carpet live interviews?
Amina Zhaman: Be you, learn as much as possible about work of people you will talk to and wear a beautiful dress. As Oscar Wilde once said, you can never be overdressed or overeducated.
London Prestige: Tell us a little bit about your background, what you do?
Amina Zhaman: I’m a Circassian filmmaker, stage and screen actress, founder and artistic director of my own theatre company AM/NA THEATRE, singer-songwriter, poet, scientist, Broadway reviewer. I do so much, the shortest way to describe my work is to say – Art.
London Prestige: What are your career aspirations?
Amina Zhaman: Currently I’m working on a few projects. I hope to make 2 stage productions and star in both of them. One in Russian, one in English. I really miss stage and literally can’t wait to be back on stage – as a drama/comedy actress and as an entertainer in casino – hopefully in Las Vegas soon. I also plan to shoot a feature comedy “LoVegaS”. But again, nothing compares to happiness I feel when I’m on stage. So if there’s a choice, I would choose solo concerts for the rest of my life and a few fabulous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.
London Prestige: What motto do you live by?
Amina Zhaman: Never cheat on your dreams.
London Prestige: Is there any particular person or mentor who has inspired you to keep going and pursue your dreams?
Amina Zhaman: This is a dream that didn’t come true. I always wanted to have a mentor, but I never had one in acting or singing. Trust me, if a person has a support, he/she will never independently produce films with aim to act and hear his/her music as OST. My big dreams and never-ending hard work are the foundation of all my achievements. I always had a huge desire and strong passion to do what I love, and a goal to get a place in life that I deserve. I was inspired by art in general and by my favorite artists in particular. Among those who influenced me a lot – Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Rudolf Nureyev, Prince, Aaliyah, Christina Aguilera, Lenny Kravitz, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Spice Girls. I consider them my teachers.