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ANIMA (Diana Cochran) a young woman finds herself lost in a vast wilderness. NEIL (Jacob Espinoza) a solitary survivalist offers her shelter in his cabin. ANIMA has no memory of her past and suspects that she’s being trapped. She attempts an escape and along the way meets ATTA (Michael Kopelow) a custodian of an apple orchard. Going in and out of consciousness, ANIMA sees visions that make her to become self-aware. However, it soon becomes evident that ANIMA is far more important to both men than she could ever imagine.

This survivalist adventure saga shines the light on the struggles we all face as a species and the roles that are given to us by our environment as our climate inevitably changes.

This debut feature will make an exciting introduction of a new voice in independent cinema and will thrill your Film Festival audiences.

Born in Ufa, Russia. After graduating from Rudolf Nureyev Bashkir Choreographic College, Mr. Bajanov started his early career as a ballet dancer and toured throughout Europe and USA.

Mr. Bajanov began his love affair with cinema at the age of 16 when he purchased his firstconsumer VHS camera while on tour with The Nutcracker in Los Angeles, CA in 1995.

Artour Bajanov permanently moved to the United States in 1997.After performing, choreographing and teaching ballet for many years, Mr. Bajanov started a video production company that films live shows, music videos and short films. Working as a producer, cinematographer and writer on numerous projects led him to work as a DP and a director for ENYA MUSIC USA and Dos Hombres Mezcal with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

In early 2017, Mr. Bajanov wrote “DESCENDENT” and the same year he began the production of his first full-length feature that took him seven years to complete. It is our pleasure to speak with Artour about his latest project.

How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?

When I was a young ballet student at Rudolph Nuriev College of Ballet and Choreography, I bought a consumer mini DV camcorder during my short Ballet Tour to US in 1995. When I got back to Russia, I began making silly music videos with my ballet college friends. 

My first real film project was a “Life in a Day” short documentary competition introduced by Ridley Scott and Kevin McDonald. I made a short  documentary about my good friend, who happened to be a college physics professor and a sculptor. 

What genre of filmmaking are you looking to work on and why? 

I’m interested in all genres of filmmaking. My current film is a mystery/Sci Fi, although I have written scripts for comedy, drama, horror and an epic period TV series. After the release of my current film “DESCENDENT”, I’m ready to tackle my next project, which hopefully be a romantic drama about a love triangle. 

What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent filmmaker?

The most challenging aspect for any filmmaker is always funding… Yes, there are many platforms currently available to filmmakers to raise money, yet it’s even more competitive than it’s ever been.

How challenging is it to fund indie films?

Finding patrons for an artist has always been a challenge throughout history, especially for such expensive art as independent cinema. 

Making movies is a business unlike any other but a business nonetheless. It’s dependent on success, although I believe that making independent films got more democratized in the last decade. Gladly, more people can tell their stories with smaller budgets. 

Please name three of your most favorite directors. How have they been influential in your work?

I’ve been a long time fan of epic adventure dramas such as David Lean’s “Lawerence of Arabia”, the psychological horror drama of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and the post-apocalyptic mystery of Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”. These masters of cinema, and many other film directors, created their own worlds and had a profound effect on my imagination. Consequently, they shaped my visual style, narrative structure and thematic exploration.

What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on developing a screenplay about the life of a Canadian virtuoso pianist Glen Gould. Also, I would love to make a romantic drama feature about a love triangle set in early 2000’s as my next project.

So far it’s been overwhelming and exciting to receive so much interest and attention in my current film.”

What was the inspiration behind your latest film project?

The inspiration for my latest film project was a dream I had. Consequently, I used the premise of my dream as the main source for DESCENDENT. 

How did you find the cast and the crew of the film?

My casting director Jessica Kramer and I looked at many different casting options available in Los Angeles. Two lead actors, Diana Cochran (ANIMA) and Jacob Espinoza (NEIL), came through the auditioning process that was announced over Stage 32 and Cast It LA. They had to still go through a second and a third round of auditions after we initially came across of their acting profiles. Michael Kopelow, who played a supporting role as ATTA, is a good friend of mine that I already knew since I moved to LA in 2014. I knew him as an actor of his own film “Counterclockwise” that he was producing at the time. Shortly after we met, his director cast me in a small role in his film. 

What is the distribution plan of the film and did the film receive any screenings or was it featured in festivals?

Currently, I’m in the early process of film festival circuit. So far it’s been an incredible experience getting accepted at all the amazing film festivals such as Indie Vegas Film Festival 2024, getting nominated at Art Spirit Award Film Festival 2024 for best indie film of the year and having our world premiere at IFS LA FILM FESTIVAL 2024. 

Why do you make films and what kind of impact would your work have on the world?

In my experience discovering movies, I always hope to explore a filmmaker’s deeply personal point of view. Watching films is an interactive experience for me, like having an intimate conversation. I only hope to create such an experience for my audience. 


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