IRINA VARINA Explores Being An Artist In New Hybrid Film US, FOREVER AGO Premiering At AoBFF
Actress/Filmmaker Irina Varina explores the inner worlds of a group of emerging female artists in the new documentary-narrative hybrid indie film, US, FOREVER AGO, making its World Premiere at The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival (AoBFF) on June 9, 2018.
US, FOREVER AGO recalls the time when a self-doubting creative artist (Varina) set out to shoot a film as an exploration of women working in the arts. Crafted as an investigatory patchwork, the narrative weaves together intimate scenes from the artist's life with unscripted documentary conversations with real-life female artists. The result is a 70-minute genre bending documentary-narrative hybrid that plays with perceptions of intimacy, memory, belonging, insecurity and what it means to be an artist.
Shot over 7 months in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens, NY, Varina wasn't looking to create a traditional narrative film. She explains, "Working on this project was an exercise in trusting my instincts over the 'correct' or 'right' ways to do things. It was about learning my own fears and insecurities, and embracing the desire to make films that are more about a feeling than a storyline."
Forgoing the conventional casting route, Varina recruited individuals she trusted, including respected New York Theater actor turned Artistic Director of T. Schreiber Studio & Theatre, Peter Jensen, to portray her love interest in the film. In addition, she carefully selected all the female artists she interviewed, which include performance artist Andrea Clinton, dancer Emily Mcloughlin, writer Chana Porter and visual artist Katie Frank.
Many of Varina's projects start out as explorations of life experiences that are hard to put into words or seem too shameful. She often revolves them around women, personal history and the desire to connect and find a place in the world. Now, Varina is thrilled to share her latest film, US, FOREVER AGO, with audiences at The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, adding "I hope that the film would give audiences an opportunity to reflect on their own past and present, on what they value in their lives and how they make sense of their failures and longings. And that they would stick around after the screening to share their stories or/and have a drink together."
Born in Uzbekistan, Varina currently splits time between New York and Philadelphia. She has been building a solid reputation on the indie film scene as an actor and producer for some time. Her films have screened at many festivals, including The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, Queens World Film Festival, NewFilmmakers New York and more. Her short film, A Memory, won the Grand Prize at the Tiny Film Festival and PBS Channel's weekly Reel 13 CONTEST among others. On stage, Varina's solo show about longing, Speculum Diaries, was a part of Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2016. She is proud to be part of Filmshop, a nonprofit collective of independent filmmakers in NYC.
Currently, Varina is working on a new creative project which has her talking to men about masculinity over tea and cookies.
US, FOREVER AGO - The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival
Date/Time: Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 9:00PM
Venue: Higgins Hall at Pratt Institute (61 St. James Place, Brooklyn, NY 11238)