Exclusive interview with Arielle Assenova – Film Producer
NY Glam: Tell us a little about yourself, growing up and your passions.
My name is Arielle Assenova and I am a filmmaker. There is not much about me, I am a person who likes to follow the heart. And my heart is in art and filmmaking. Meanwhile I draw and appreciate classical and modern art. I went to Kazakh National Academy of Arts and New York fFilm Academy to study Filmmaking and then also studied the basics of business in Florida International University. Right now I have BBA in Finance and BFA in Film Producing and Directing. I have tried myself as a producer and director and now trying to add the screenwriting to my portfolio.
NY Glam: Did you have any specific influences growing up that lead you towards the film industry?
The very big influence I have experienced growing up was my Dad. My dad is a movie producer and actor. He is quite passionate about the film industry. He always told me: “Im a happy person because I do what I like and Im getting paid for that”. I basically grew up on a film set. As a child I saw the film production as a Wonderland and honestly it is still the same for me. I am happy to be where I am right now.
NY Glam: What are you currently working on?
Rignt now I am working on new script for a short film. Due to quarantine it is impossible to shoot movie and TV projects, but it is a great time slot for creating new ideas and writing fascinating pieces.
NY Glam: What were your main responsibilities on this film?
My main responsibility was to take on the organizational part of the film, to free our talented director’s head off the distractions and let her create. So, it was a challenging job for me, and I am extremely thankful for Victoria to let me carry the job.
NY Glam: Can you tell us about your experience in working with the director and actors in this film?
Well, I think it is not much to say, we were like an orchestra playing one smooth melody together under the spectacular lead of our Director – Victoria Yacubov. She somehow gathered arounf people who think the same and see the same picture, so if I were to say how was it to work with them? I could only say one thing – It was an experience of a lifetime. Practically Amazing. I am not saying everything was smooth, but we were a great team and we managed to go through all the issues together.
NY Glam: What was the most important thing for this movie to achieve from a narrative and character standpoint?
The most important thing was to let the characters be real, the problems be real. Not the exaggerated problems we see mostly in films. But the real drama, the one we all experience but not ready to talk about.
NY Glam: What other films have you produced?
I worked on the production of many Kazakh films and some co-production films. Among them «Kazakh Khanate», «Amanat» (Selection from Kazakhstan for Golden Globes and Academy Awards in 2016), «Cloud on the roof», «Your Fall», «Choice».
NY Glam: What makes a film interesting for you? What are three qualities that you look for in a movie?
As a filmmaker I see each film as a piece for exploration. If I don’t like any specific part, lets say the story, I would follow the acting or lighting or even editing. Each film is interesting. But for me a good film should be having three main things : the story, relatability and passion. And here the passion takes two sides, the passion of a characters and a passion of the film crew. U could always see if both things are there.
NY Glam: What project helped you launch your career?
I remember when I was 17, I went to work as an First Assistant Director on a TV series. That was my first film job. I was extremely nervous, and tries to be the best I could. I slept 4 hours a day. That was fascinating and it was such an experience for me. The project was called «Sun Secrets» and they were not that popular. But I still remember that experience.
NY Glam: What criteria do you use to select a script, screenwriter, director, etc.?
There are many things I seek in selecting those things. It is harder with scripts, but overall I think I always listen to my inner voice. It either says lets dive and do that script a movie with people or I skip. And most of the time it becomes marvelous like with the Olma Djon.
NY Glam: What are you most proud of? Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment to date would be the ability to stay truthful to myself and to people I contact with. That quality lets me meet great people and do stuff that inspires me. I am very proud of a lot of stuff in my life, that movie Olma Djon is one them. I am also proud that I worked with so many talented people. I don’t know what to add. I guess I don’t think I did all I wanted, there still tons of ideas in my head that I want to become real.
NY Glam: Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re super excited about?
Yes, in fact, we are working on a new project with Victoria Yacubov. We were planning to shoot the short film this spring. However, we are using the quarantine to prepare so we caould start as soon as possible. I am very excited to work again with Victroria.
NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to enter the film industry, especially as a producer?
Well, I think it is easy, just be the best you can everyday and be passionate about what you are doing. Film industry is a wonderland and it is our job to show the viewers stories of our lives.
NY Glam: Can you discuss any future projects or direction you are taking in regard to film making?
Well, I am very interested in producing movies about ordinary people. I want to do the movies that can open somebodies minds into a whole new field of thinking. That is why I am exploring screenwriting right now. I have ideas, how I want them to be on screen.