Sunday Shorts: Zina


Directed by Ivan Malekin
Produced by Clara Francesca and Ivan Malekin
Written by Russell Boyd
Starring Clara FrancescaFrank Fazio and Peter Flaherty

Zina is a firecracker, a young and sexy Russian woman who drinks heavily, angers quickly, goes after what she wants.  Tony is a young man new in town, fleeing a broken relationship, lost and alone. Together, Zina and Tony will share a night they won’t forget – full of seduction, near misses, bloody noses and wild surprises.

Clara Francesca as Zina.

Article by Ivan Malekin (Director)

Zina was a tribute to our collaborator and friend, Russell Boyd, who passed away early in 2015. It was his script, the last project he was working on before his passing, and something that is special in my heart because of those circumstances.

At the same time, it was challenging, as it always is, to bring someone’s else’s words to life on the big screen.  Interpreting the characters, their motivations, interpreting the meanings and layers behind each scene, is integral to the creative process, and through the notes of Russell and discussion with Clara I feel we have a dark but seductive reading that rings true to Russell’s intentions.

Director Ivan Malekin with Frank Fazio on the set of Zina.

For me, Zina represents loneliness and love and the crazy things we do when lashing against despair.  Both Tony and Zina are broken – the former from a recent breakup, the latter from a life she cannot escape. Both know better. But both are willing to follow their impulses and live in the moment, even if that moment will eventually come crashing down.

On set, there was a warmth to this cast and crew, a bond we all shared, knowing why we were making this short. It was, without embellishment, the most gracious and sincere crew I have had the pleasure of working with. I know Russell would have been proud and I am honoured to have the pleasure of directing his final film.

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