Mini MUFF Profile: Virginia Abramovich
Mini MUFF Profile: Virginia Abramovich
Film: Lunchbox Loser
Lunchbox Loser is just the kind of local short film we love: full of entertainment, brimming with skill, and driven by amazing female talent on and off the screen. Along with creator and director Virginia Abramovich, Lunchbox Loser has two female producers (Ani Baravyan and Lauren Corber), a female writer (Chandler Levack, who is also the genius behind Toronto’s Feminist Live Reads), two young, rising female leads (Sarah Davis and Ella Ballentine) and a stacked crew of amazingly talented women (check them all out on IMDB).
We were originally holding on to this short with the hopes of screening it alongside Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (trust us—it would have been PERFECT), but since receiving news that we would probably not be able to screen Romy & Michele any time soon, we decided we simply could not hold off on playing Lunchbox Loser any longer! That being said, we are screening it THIS MONTH in front of our feature film, Wayne’s World!
Lunchbox Loser has screened at festivals worldwide, including Cannes Festival Short Film Corner, San Diego Film Festival, Beloit International Film Festival, and Female Eye Film Festival, and has garnered an impressive amount of awards including Best Children’s Short at Manhattan Film Festival, Silver Remi (Best Short Comedy) at WorldFest Houston Film Fest, and Best Actress In A Short Film at Canadian Film Festival. Get to know one of the incredible women behind this amazing film, Toronto-based filmmaker Virginia Abramovich!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH FILMMAKING.
Virginia Abramovich: I’m from Toronto and have lived here for most of my life, but I was born in Minsk, Belarus and came to Canada at the age of eight. We first immigrated to Calgary where my ethnicity, weird accent, funny dress, and being a day-dreaming space cadet, made me stand out like an oddball. A lot of my film work is about questioning social norms and identity and telling stories where the characters find their own versions of “truth”. I am a filmmaker because I have stories I want to tell and this is best way I know of telling them. From an early age, I was influenced by my father, who used to make 8 mm films and project them in our living room. I’ve always been a fan of moving images.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT LUNCHBOX LOSER.
VA: Lunchbox Loser is a story about an aspiring comedian Natasha Marakova, who's forced to deal with grade school lunchroom politics. This is a dark comedy about owning who you are and eating it with pride.
This film was inspired by my own personal experience of pulling out my immigrant lunch (a brown boiled egg) in a room full of laughing kids on my first day of school in Canada. It is a story about never quite belonging, and about owning who you are. In teaming up with writer Chandler Levack, a fellow oddball who was also taunted in school, we made a pledge to avenge all losers.
TELL US ABOUT WHY YOU ARE A FEMINIST AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO YOUR FILMMAKING.
VA: I’m a feminist because gender is a social construct that doesn’t make sense to me. Until we come to a consensus where the dominant notion of gender stops subjugating more than half the world’s population, I will continue being a feminist. In my filmmaking, I make a conscious effort to portray strong female characters and deconstruct and/or manipulate stereotypes.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WOMEN WORKING IN THE FILM INDUSTRY?
VA: Film Directors: Sofia Ford Coppola, Mary Harron, Catherine Brellat, Leah Meyerhoff, Television Directors: Dawn Wilkinson, Writers: Tracy Letts, Lena Dunham, Chandler Levack, Actors: Nicole Kidman, Chloe Sevigny, Rooney Mara, Emma Watson.
IF A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE WAS CAST/CREATED, WHO WOULD STAR AS YOU AND WHAT GENRE WOULD IT BE?
VA: Chloe Sevigny would star as me in a 1960’s science fiction film where everyone is green and she’s purple.
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE ABOUT FILMMAKING YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED?
VA: Get it done!
WHO IS THE BEST/SUPERIOR BATMAN?
VA: Christian Bale.
PUT TOGETHER YOUR DREAM TEAM (WITH YOU IN ONE OF THE ROLES, OBVS!
VA: All of the above mentioned in the favourite women’s category!
WHAT'S YOUR GO-TO JAM?
VA: Chilling out to Boards of Canada and strawberry jam go really well together.
WHAT MALE POP CULTURE ICON OR MOVIE/TV CHARACTER ARE YOU DREAMING WOULD GET A GENDER-SWAP?
VA: Justin Timberlake.
RECOMMEND ONE #MUFFAPPROVED FILM FOR OUR BLOG READERS:
VA: The Virgin Suicides (dir. Sofia Coppola)
The Mini MUFF Society is our short film program. We aim to screen at least one local short film at each of our monthly events. You know, because we have a lot of amazing female talent in Toronto and we want to celebrate it! Learn more here!