In session 10 of Lockdown Film School, Canadian filmmaker Jasmin Mozaffari (Firecrackers) and Belarusian filmmaker Darya Zhuk (Crystal Swan) give a masterclass on the challenges of making their first feature, getting funded, finding an audience, and learning on the job.
For some of the highlights of our discussion, view our LiveTweet thread here.
“If you’re aspiring to be a director for hire, I would really recommend film school.” – Darya Zhuk
“Film school comes with a community, who are willing to jump off a cliff and willing to slave away on your film.” – Darya Zhuk
“Some people I know felt that film school wasn’t a safe space to create because of the misogyny and racism hat exists in those institutions. You don’t need to go to film school as long as you can find a community to create with who have like-minded values.” – Jasmin Mozaffari
“Going to a film festival as a filmmaker, it’s a job. You’re there to represent your film and talk about it.” – Jasmin Mozaffari
“I felt like I had to wake up the world to how toxic patriarchy is, not just in men, but in women.” – Jasmin Mozaffari
Who is Jasmin Mozaffari?
Born in Saskatoon, raised in Barrie, and now based in Toronto, Jasmin Mozaffari leaped onto the international film scene with her debut feature, Firecrackers in 2018. After receiving Canadian and US distribution for Firecrackers, Jasmin won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Director for the film. After graduating from Ryersion University’s Film Studies program in 2013, she directed the short films WAVE (2015) and sleep on the tracks (2018). In March, Jasmin was one of 8 writers selected to develop her next feature film through the Toronto International Film Festival’s Writers’ Studio.
Where can you watch Firecrackers?
Canada: Stream on Crave+ and Hoopla.
US: Stream on Hoopla and Kanopy.
Who is Darya Zhuk?
Darya Zhuk is a Belarusian filmmaker based in New York City. She moved to the US at 16 to study, and has since graduated cum laude from Harvard and with honors from Columbia University’s MFA Program in Directing. Her first feature, Crystal Swan, premiered at Karlovy Vary Film Festival in 2018, and has since screened at festivals around the world including the London Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival where she won the Programmers Award, and the Shanghai International Film Festival where it won the Media Choice Award for Film. She strives to tell fun, unapologetically messy stories about always strong, diverse, and sometimes shocking women.
Where can you watch Crystal Swan?
US: Stream on Mubi.
Canada: Rent on Vimeo on Demand
Discover more great Canadian films
The last year was one of the best for Canadian cinema in history. Discover these great films through conversations with the filmmakers, guided by the Seventh Row editors in our inaugural annual book, The 2019 Canadian Cinema Yearbook.