Exclusive Interview with AMINA ZHAMAN, Art Director of IFFNY
NY Glam: Amina, can you tell us about the upcoming International Filmmaker Festival of New York (IFFNY)?
Sure! This is our 9th run since the festival first opened in 2012. Usually IFFNY is held in the heart of independent cinema – New York City. This year festival will be held online. Festival dates have been postponed from May 15-19 to August 28-31, but we have not canceled a single event. In 2020 the show must go online. 9th Edition of IFFNY should be called the Worldwide Edition. Nothing less, nothing more. We continue to celebrate international and independent cinema. This year the festival received an overwhelming 346 applications from all around the world. 35 outstanding movies made it to the official selection list. Festival Selector and brilliant filmmaker Iber Deari has worked tirelessly to bring to the global audience inspirational stories that are true, special, creative and original. We are thrilled to have extraordinary works of international filmmakers, gifted visionaries and promising young directors from 23 different countries.
NY Glam: IFFNY became international a few years ago and quickly earned respect from other prestigious festivals and filmmakers overseas. What is the secret of IFFNY’s success?
International Filmmaker Festival of New York is a breakthrough platform for many new film authors. With the success and exposure at IFFNY many careers of aspiring directors, screenwriters, producers, cinematographers, actors and artists take off. New York is a city of dreams, the Mecca of Art. All art forms and genres meet here. If you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere. New York is a bridge from independent cinema to Hollywood. IFFNY is proud to be part of building the bridge and shaping the artistic community. As the film industry grows across the globe and in United States so does our IFFNY family. International Filmmaker Festival of New York is appreciated for its large diversity among its chosen films and for attracting more international filmmakers to America. Our visionary festival director and organizer Mrika Krasniqi of NIL Production continues to push the envelope in the film industry and art.
NY Glam: Who will judge the films at IFFNY 2020?
Our prestigious jury – namely Stefan Michaels, Stacey Gough, Jackie Qafa, Erjeta Cufaj and Damaris Fernandez. Without a shadow of a doubt, they will recognize excellence in cinema. Our festival team and international jury of experts will decide the winners. Ten (10) grand prizes will be given for:
Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Feature Documentary
Best Short Documentary
Best Music Video
Best Actor Award
Best Actress Award
Best Production Award
In 2020 IFFNY has one program – Competition. It includes world premieres, U.S. premieres, exclusive feature and short films, documentaries, amazing music videos and wonderful animation. Every work is breathtaking and worth watching.
NY Glam: What is your advice for aspiring filmmakers?
As the legendary director James Cameron once said: “Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.”