2018-08-01 / Front Page

Actress-Filmmaker Explores Being an Artist and a Woman

Actress-filmmaker Irina Varina explores being an artist and a woman in new cross-genre indie film,  “Us, Forever Ago” in the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.Actress-filmmaker Irina Varina explores being an artist and a woman in new cross-genre indie film, “Us, Forever Ago” in the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.Actress-filmmaker Irina Varina explores the inner worlds of a group of emerging female artists in the new documentary-narrative hybrid independent film, “Us, Forever Ago,” screening in the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema on August 8.

“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 seven months in Ridgewood, 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.”

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 Queens World Film Festival, The Art of Brooklyn 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 creative project which has her talking to men about masculinity over tea and cookies, and on a new solo show titled “Russian-American Odyssey” set to premiere at the end of 2018.

“Us, Forever Ago” is screening in the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema Wednesday, August 8, at 1:00 pm, at the United Artists – Midway Theatre (108-22 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills, NY 11375). For tickets and info, visit www.kewgardensfestivalofcinema.com/events/usforeverago. For more about Irina Varina and “Us, Forever Ago,” visit www.IrinaVarina.com, www.UsForeverAgo.com, or Facebook facebook.com/usforeverago.


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