Webseries of the Day: ‘Things I’d Like to Do Instead of Thinking About Men’
Irina Varina is an Uzbekistan-born actress and filmmaker currently splitting her time between New York and Philadelphia. She has acted in film and theater, as well as produced her own work.
Many of Varina’s projects start out as explorations of life experiences that are hard to put into words or seem too shameful. Her films have screened at many festivals, including Festival of Cinema NYC, Queens World 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.
Varina premiered her first independent feature film Us, Forever Ago at The 2018 Art of Brooklyn Film Festival and it’s now streaming on Amazon. On stage, Varina’s solo show about longing, Speculum Diaries, was a part of Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2016.
She is proud to be a member of Filmshop, a nonprofit collective of independent filmmakers in NYC. Currently, Varina is excited about going back to researching/rehearsing for a new solo project titled Russian-American Divinations.
Things I’d Like To Do Instead Of Thinking About Men, a six-part series/phantasmagoria, follows a woman (Varina) who disappears, leaving behind a YouTube show called Things I’d Like To Do Instead Of Thinking About Men.
Written and directed by Irina Varina and shot by Kate Raines, it was independently produced this summer in Philadelphia and features a diverse, local cast – Anita Holland, Scott Rodrigue, Christina Gesualdi, Vanessa Ogbuehi, Kelly Filios, Bianca Sanchez, Laura Vriend, Kevin Aoussou and Robert Weick.
Filmed over three days at various locations in Philadelphia as well as in the cinematographer’s basement, the result now is six episodes, 4-6 minutes each, that move fluidly between YouTube-type videos, “interviews”, phantasmagoria, and straightforward narrative.
The series had its live premiere at Free Philly Fringe Festival on September 22nd, 2019 and released online in October. Varina felt extremely fortunate to be working with Raines as her cinematographer, who is a well-known Philadelphia photographer with a great eye for translating ideas into visual stories.
Sound design played a big role in the dream-like sequences of the project and was created in post-production by Floyd Raynor who is based in The Netherlands and worked on Varina’s feature film Us, Forever Ago, a feature film, written and directed by Varina.