Tag Archives: Film Producer

Bulgarian Producer Assya Dimova: Defying Cultural Standards to Follow a Dream

The fact that certain cultures see some professions as king and count others as unworthy ‘hobbies’ should come as no surprise, but for many kids growing up in cultures where their personal dreams are seen as unacceptable, this can have a debilitating affect on their ability to confidently pursue the path they desire. We see it everyday through stereotypes, such as those of Asian and Indian descent being pushed into careers in tech and computer engineering, or others that push their youth to become doctors or lawyers. While satisfying one’s parents and conforming to cultural expectations can be heavily weighted, sometimes the inner pull of what one feels is their destiny is strong enough to defy the expectations– even if it takes a while to develop the courage to defy the standard.

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Bulgarian producer Assya Dimova shot by Megan Cooper

Esteemed Bulgarian film producer Assya Dimova is a prime example of one woman who was expected to pursue a path other than the one she felt she was personally meant for; but after making the definitive choice to devote herself to working as a film producer, everything seemed to fall into place naturally. Dimova, who recently produced the films “Stygian” and “Our Blood is Wine,” has secured a strong place for herself in the film industry on an international level; but it didn’t happen overnight.

During her youth growing up in Sofia, Bulgaria Dimova had an unwavering love for visual storytelling and a special knack for bringing creative talents together to realize a single vision. She recalls, “At the time, back home, the arts were not a traditional career path, especially for a girl. So I did the next best thing, I moved to Italy and enlisted in business school while actively building a taste for emerging talent,” adding however, that “the fascination with the magic of visual storytelling was just not going away, and I desperately wanted to one day be a part of bringing all those talents together.”

While in Italy, Dimova attained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and her Master of Science in Economics and Management of Innovation and Technology, and even though she hadn’t made the leap into the film world just yet, in a way she was already working as a producer. She began utilizing her natural ability for recognize creative talents and bringing them together

She explains, “I’ve always had the tendency to bring a group of friends together and lovingly push them to show off their talents in plays and short films. The first bigger endeavor was probably while I was living in Italy and with a small group of friends decided to create a series of concerts, cultural nights of sorts, where we presented Bulgaria to a diverse audience. We handled every aspect, from all the logistics, to involving talent, getting sponsorships, working with local media.”

By the time she was 25 Assya Dimova came to the firm realization that there was no other satisfying path for her, so instead of sticking it out in a career that didn’t utilize her natural gifts, she whole-heartedly dedicated herself to her passion– producing. Dimova relocated to the states soon after where she completed her Master of Arts in Creative Producing for Film and Television at Columbia College.

“As a producer my goal has always been to find and cultivate relationships with inspirational filmmakers who have an individual voice,” explains Dimova. And the work she’s done in the industry prove that she knows how to discover strong and innovative filmmakers with powerful stories to tell, and she’s the right producer to bring their tales to the screen.

Stygian Assya Dimova
Poster for “Stygian” directed by Josh Garvin

In 2015 Assya Dimova began production on Josh Garvin’s (“Daisy,” “Uncle Evan”) dramatic western “Stygian,” a silent film that follows an old gunslinger on a perilous trek across a barren desert. The climax of the film commences when the gunslinger falls from his horse and incurs a fatal injury that leaves him suffering from dehydration and a vicious infection on the desert floor where he is left to ponder his past mistakes.

As both the producer and the line producer on the film, Dimova did everything from raising funds and managing the film’s budget, to solidifying the shooting locations in New Mexico, pulling together the right people to head each department and also managing the day to day progress of the production.

About what led her to produce “Stygian,” Dimova explains, “On one hand, there was the creative aspect. The central themes of sin, guilt and atonement make for a powerful and thought-provoking story. Josh Garvin’s vision was nuanced and passionate and it was a no brainer decision.”

Being chosen as an Official Selection of the Wild Bunch Film Festival, Globe International Silent Film Festival, New Filmmakers Los Angeles, Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and the Grand OFF World Independent Film Awards, the overwhelming acceptance “Stygian” received from film festivals around the world make it clear that Dimova chose the right story to the bring to the screen.

Besides her ability to ensure the productions she chooses are completed in time and on budget whilst remaining to true to the director’s creative vision, one of the unique strengths that Dimova brings to the table as a producer is the ease with which she is able to navigate cross-cultural film productions. A polyglot, Dimova is fluent in German, English, Bulgarian and Italian, and as someone who’s lived and worked in multiple countries over the course of her life she understands how the filmmaking process differs vastly between countries. This skill proved to be incredibly valuable in her work as the line producer on Emily Railsback’s (“The 6th Stage of Sugar,” “WarBaby”) documentary feature “Our Blood Is Wine,” which was shot in the country of Georgia earlier this year and is slated for release in 2018.

With several films and television series under her belt as a producer, and a seasoned eye for creative talent, Dimova’s experience in the industry has also led her to be tapped as a curator for film festivals around the world. Some of the festivals she’s curated over the years include the Netherland’s 2016 Leiden International Film Festival, as well as the 2016 and 2017 Beloit International Film Festival in Wisconsin, and the 2016 and 2017 Hollywood Film Festival. As a film festival curator Dimova plays a key role in the screening and voting process that determines what feature and short form narrative and documentary films will be included in each festival, in addition to be involved in discussing the festivals proposed programming.

“As a producer, one must have a wide range of taste and ability to spot up-and-coming talent. With my international experience and background, I am able to critique submissions for both their production and creative value,” explains Dimova. “As in my personal producing career, I always go for story first and how captivating, original and authentic it is. I always look for something fresh that surprises me.”

In the end, producer Assya Dimova’s success in the film industry is proof that societal and cultural expectations sometimes have to be defied in order for one’s dreams to become fully realized.

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Q & A with Brazil’s Top Tech Producer Gisele Góes

Gisele Góes
Brazilian Writer and Producer Gisele Góes

Despite her flawless beauty, Gisele Góes is actually the one behind the scenes, or rather screens, computer screens that is. Gisele is an incredibly motivated tech writer and content producer. As one of the lead producers and managers of content for the successful websites TechTudo.com, Globo.com and Socialbakers.com Gisele works tirelessly to bring the online community the most relevant and up-to-date news in the tech industry. She is also one of the creative individuals behind Blogo, an award-winning blogging app for Mac OSX.

Not only is she a talented tech-savvy writer, but Gisele has also begun extending her work as a tech producer into the world of film. To find out more about Gisele’s work in the tech industry, and how she managed to take her skills as a producer from one industry to another, read our interview below!

TTNN: What did you go to school for?

GG: Bachelors in Social Communication, Emphasis in Advertising & Marketing

TTNN: What do you do for TechTudo?

GG: Write articles covering real-time industry news, digital culture, social media, product reviews, ratings (software, hardware), how-to’s, tutorials, featured downloads. Also monitor new sources for topic proposals and make sure to follow the tight deadlines (timing is everything). Without competent and good qualified writers, TechTudo wouldn’t have good and updated content.

TTNN: Why do people use TechTudo/What is the website all about?

GG: TechTudo is the biggest tech website in Brazil and it’s part of Globo (largest media group in Latin America). TechTudo is separated by sessions: News, Articles, Special Articles (interviews, etc), Tutorials & Downloads.

The website covers all news about technology and digital culture making this kind of content accessible to general audience (more than 10 million unique visitors).

TTNN: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

GG: Actually I’ve wanted to be a photographer but writing started to become a good hobby when I created my first blog (Keep Calm and Blog On). After following my work with my blog the staff from TechTudo invited me to write for them and then everything made sense. I found out I could use my passion about photography to pick up cool images or even write about the subject and have fun writing at the same time!  

TTNN: What genre or category does your writing fall into?

GG: I love writing about everything but I like online focused content and approaching subjects like new products/services, games, tech culture, pop culture and entertainment. Even though I enjoy long articles I really love the challenge of trying to be straight but giving the right details to touch the audience. This is actually what prompted me to start working on an ebook about how technology is changing our writing habits.

TTNN: Why have you chosen to work and write in this field specifically?

GG: I’ve always been into tech. When I was little I used to spend a lot of time in the computer, my grandparents would call me out for that and tell my parents “this girl spends too much time on the computer”. I love having access to new information but more than that, I love sharing it with people from all over the world. And that wouldn’t be possible without technology. I’ve lived in 10 different cities in 2 different countries, so I’m fascinated about communication and how it changes from culture to culture. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love talking to all kinds of people from different places about something that I love and exploring good content everyday that deserves to be shared with the world.  

TTNN: How did you begin working in app development?

 GG: I worked in a Globo.com’s affiliate company that developed apps and tech products. After getting expertise in the process behind the development I started writing for TechTudo about tech related news and studying more about startups and getting more into the field.

I was one of the 18 young talents selected for a summer program in Silicon Valley in 2013 called Startup Dream Team and had workshops about all the steps a startup or entrepreneur needs to follow to start a new business / app / service / product.

TTNN: What is your area of expertise in app development?

GG: Communication, Written production (UX interface), Copyhacking and growth. Everything that involves promoting, increasing the online performance and connecting with an audience and press.  

TTNN: What is the Blogo App all about? 

GG: Blogo is a desktop blogging app for Macs. It simplifies the blogging workflow by getting rid of everything that is not necessary. All the features were carefully thought, selected and designed to make blogging easier and faster. It’s the easiest way to manage multiple blogs and publish content.

TTNN: How did you come up with the idea for Blogo?

GG: Blogo was not my idea. In fact, Blogo was created in 2008 and gained a lot of attention, described by Mashable as a “bad ass blog editor,” but its development halted after a Mac OS update. Five years later, the original creator (Ivan) gathered with two new partners and got the project back on track. Ivan and I were friends already and he knew I was coming back from Silicon Valley and thought I was the perfect fit to give Blogo a “human touch” and take charge of their communication. 

TTNN: As a producer for Socialbakers, what specifically do you do?

GG: Produce and coordinate all the content distribution in Brazil. Pitch Socialbakers to Brazilian media, look for media opportunities and come up with ideas for country specific content, arrange special articles and interviews that increases Socialbakers’ brand performance in Brazilian territory in order to attract more attention from possible clients and public in general.

The Crystal Crypt

After reaching an incredible level of success as a writer and producer in the tech industry, Gisele Góes began extending her skills beyond the tech world. Drawing on her unparalleled ability to raise funds and publicity for projects she believes in, Gisele began applying her talents to the film industry. In addition to being an irreplaceable force in the creation of content and the overall management of TechTudo.com, Globo.com, and Socialbakers.com, she is also currently working as a producer for the films “The Umbrella”, “Crystal Crypt” and “Susannah’s Lesson.”

TTNN: How did you transition from working as a producer in the tech world to producing films?

GG: I’ve always wanted to work with film– that was one of my options while I was in college but I ended up focusing on technology. Today I believe that is possible to work with both. Technology is completely changing the film industry because it empowers the community and independent moviemakers to easily spread the word, and get the support and funding needed to make a project happen.

TTNN: What skills from your background as a tech producer do you use as a producer of films? What are the similarities?

GG: Writing and content distribution mainly; but also my expertise interacting and approaching the community and that’s because independent movies use a lot of crowdfunding to help raise enough money to produce their films.

For a crowdfunding campaign to succeed, it is crucial to understand how to promote the right content to a community in order to generate spontaneous communication, etc. Just like in technology, you have to understand your target and make sure you’re delivering the right content, on the right channel with the perfect approach.

TTNN: What are your strengths as a film producer?

GG: As I said before, technology is changing the film industry completely. Movies like Crystal Crypt had so much support from the community and that has everything to do with their success. I believe that my knowledge with online tools to promote content and experience with content distribution, writing and PR is really useful to help in the movie’s production, as well as when it comes time to pitch them to the media in the best way.

TTNN: What do you like about producing films?

 GG: I’ve always loved movies. I can’t spend a week without watching at least one movie, and it’s amazing being able to be a part of something like that. There’s a lot behind a movie and it combines everything I love– photography, music, writing. It’s fascinating to see all these amazing factors being worked out together and turned into a “piece of art”.

TTNN: What are your favorite kinds of films to produce?

GG: Independent ones. Mostly because they have a big influence from the online community and they’re directly related with technology. As far as genres go, I like Sci-fi (which is the case of Crystal Crypt) but I don’t have a specific genre that I prefer. I think it’s all about quality.

TTNN: How did you get involved with the upcoming films The Umbrella, Crystal Crypt and Susannah’s Lesson?

GG: Shahab Zargari, the director of the film Crystal Crypt, knew me from my work here in Brazil as a writer and he thought I could add a different approach to these projects, that is how it began. He wanted someone with a different perspective that could add a lot and seek different approaches to promote and produce something unique.

TTNN: What do you hope to achieve over the course of your career as a writer and producer?

GG: Of course I want to get involved with awesome projects, but I also want to be able to promote and create great communities around these projects to guarantee their success. Technology keeps empowering us and today funding or raising money is just a matter of getting the right people involved and working together to make great ideas happen.