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Meet Anastasia Kochetkova of Anakofilm in Sunny Isles Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anastasia Kochetkova.

Anastasia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Hello, I’m Anastasia Kochetkova! (born and raised in Moscow, Russia in June 1988.) I am a Miami-based freelance film director and producer. I’ve been in the entertainment industry since I was a teenager and I consider myself as a passionate and dedicated filmmaker.

I have recently debuted with my several short films, “The Choice,” “The Mighty Arm,” and “Late Again Ana,” which I wrote, produced, directed, edited, and acted. “Late Again Ana” has won several awards, including “Best Student Film of the Year” (Los Angeles Film Awards), “Best Narrative Short” (Festigious Film Festival), and “Best Woman Filmmaker” at the Vegas Movie Awards. The film is still on the festival circuit and will be released to the public in the fall of 2020.

While being a student at the New York Film Academy I have worked on numerous projects as a Production Assistant, including short films “Shotgun” directed by Ramiro Hernandez and “Feed my eyes” by Eric Newcombe, “Coca-cola” commercials directed by Nicolai Fulglsig, a “SunnyD” commercial for the Shoot Collective production, music video production “Dure Dure” by Full Lock Media, “Fania Records” commercial by Carlos Escobar and more. These productions have taken me from P.A. to Production Coordinator and Assistant Producer on projects like “The Fania Collective” Round Table Interviews and a commercial for the Pincho Factory “We are not a Factory.”

Entering this profession required me to train myself and adept with numerous related technical areas, including expertise with cameras, lighting, editing equipment, sound and color correction, audio/visual and on-set devices and hardware, for both in-studio and on remote location projects, directing, acting and learning all the aspects of producing elements. So basically, I trained myself in everything in order to become an independent filmmaker.

That’s why I have earned my first Bachelor’s Degree at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in 2011 and my Master’s of Fine Arts in Filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in 2019. Thus, I was lucky to learn from the best teachers of Cinema and have tried to combine on my own experience the legendary Russian school of Acting with the most progressive American film technology in today’s world. Well, the path and the choice of the profession of the filmmaker for me was not only by getting my education, but also a long and exciting personal experience in various areas of show business. During which I was fortunate to encounter and work with it’s best Russian industry representatives as my producer Igor Krutoy, Fyodor Bondarchuk, Rezo Gigineishvili, Vladimir Fokin, etc.

I first dove into the world of entertainment in 2004, and it was when I was only fifteen years old. I became a finalist of the “Star Factory” Russian television talent show (analogy to the American Idol) that aired on Channel One (First among Russia’s country-wide channels, Channel One has more than 250 million viewers worldwide).

After the show was over me, and my band “Banda” (Anastasia Kochetkova, Timati, Dominique Joker, Ratmir Shishkov) became the most famous young artists in Russia. Music Videos, Our successful first album (New People), a Reality show on our concert tour, Studio shows, Commercials – we have been rolling every single day on the T.V. surrounded by millions of fans. Our popularity has led us to tremendous success on our music tour (2004-2006). We were touring around the countries before live audiences of 20,000 nightly. During our big concert tour, I have met my first husband, Rezo Gigineishvili. After giving a birth to my first and only child Maria at eighteen years old, I have participated and acted as a supporting role in my husband’s film “Heat.” (“Zhara” 2006 became one of the most successful films, and stills stand as a top box office earner in Russia).

But after the triumph, sometimes in life suddenly comes a tragedy. Sadly, and shocking, our group disbanded after the tragic death of our band member Ratmir Shishkov, killed in a car crash in March 2007, and all our members went their way. Timati became the most famous rapper of Russia, and Dominique a successful composer and singer.

In 2007 I became a participant at the international music contest for young performers of popular music “New Wave.” Also, this year I have started my first Bachelor’s degree, and in 2011, I have earned my diploma as an Actor of Legitimate Theater and Cinema with a degree in “Dramatics.” After graduation, I have continued my singing career as a songwriter, performer, and producer. I was creating my first solo album (22 songs) and was touring around the country. I released my first single music video in 2012 (“Ya ne ya” Directed by famous Fyodor Bondarchuk) and many featured singles after.

My love for the Cinema has started in 2006 on the set of the “Zhara” film and was keeping me dreaming that some lucky day I can create films myself. Being always curious about the new knowledge led my path to discover the door of the film school at South Beach, Miami in 2014. New York Film Academy has become my new home where I have met my second husband, Miguel Lara, and kept me to stay and live in the United States of America.

My experience with production administration, finance, talent management, and business practices, including contracts and permits, has allowed me to manage and direct fellow postgraduate students and with the confidence to launch my own production company, Anakofilm Corp. After earning my Master’s of Fine Arts in Filmmaking with honors, I continued to produce short films and commercials for the local Miami artists and businesses.

My journey of the filmmaker only began, but I feel fortunate to have already worked with so many wonderful industry professionals, leading actors and directors in music, television, and film. I believe that film is an intensely personal form of art and that it’s always only about telling a story, even when you are filming about a bottle of water! I’m very grateful for the industry recognition to date, but it is always about seeing the people who delight in consuming my work.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Life is always giving us obstacles and challenges. Without the good obstacles, there is no way of having a good script. I think the success of dealing with them lives inside of everyone. The first thing that you need to have – is a passion!

Without passion, there is no love. I always do everything with love. Whatever it goes to my family or my art. Passion plus over-control, so the obstacle won’t beat you in the first round of the game. Control yourself and the process. You have to be super organized with the passioned heartbeat inside. When you love to do something and think positively, nothing can stop you from accomplishing your goal. Even the Corona Virus can’t enter your health system when you feel positive and have a goal.

In this challenging and unpredictable time, we have to protect ourselves and don’t give up our hope. When we stay safe at home this year, we also don’t have to stop creating and dreaming. It is the best time to learn and organize ourselves. The success is inside of us. Everything is going to be great! Just never give up!

Please tell us about Anakofilm.
My company Anakofilm is an independent company that meets the prospective goals of our clients and helps them achieve the best results. As a writer and director, I develop a concept and create the idea of the project. As a producer, I gather together a specific and necessary team for each production. There are plenty of great and talented filmmakers in Miami, and they are always ready to join the exciting projects.

It always goes from the story. By listening carefully to who our clients are, we can tell about them or their product. With a great approach and good storytelling, we can awaken the emotion and gather together the audience.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I always start everything all over again. Each day we learn something new, each production we fail and win. That’s what life is all about. Learn and do next time better. The only thing that I would have changed in the past is to start to write and film earlier, so I would have had more experience for today. When I was a pop singer back in Russia, I had a lot of opportunities to direct myself, but my singing and music were taking all of my creative time. Even though my journey is a Film Director has been already five years journey, I am only beginning to feel the real storytelling. All we need is time and passion.

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Image Credit:
Daria Gladkova, Jeremiah Rivas

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