An aspiring designer travels from Russia to New York for a better future. Her expectations are quickly met with reality.

  • Oyuna Furman
  • Oyuna Furman
  • Suraya Maenhout
  • Marina Bain
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 26, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Russian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - CUNY Brooklyn College
  • Brooklyn College Film Festival
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    May 26, 2015
    Outstanding Achievement in Producing
  • 8th Annual CUNY Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    April 22, 2016
    Best Narrative, First Runner Up
  • Emerge Film Festival
    Lewiston Auburn
    United States
    April 28, 2016
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Oyuna Furman

Oyuna Furman is a New York based filmmaker whose debut film, J1, is an exploration of illusions and realities of the contemporary American Dream through the perception of a young immigrant’s eyes. She is a Brooklyn College graduate with a concentration in Film Production and a minor in History who studied TV Journalism and Russian Language philology at Tomsk State University in Siberia. Oyuna has been involved with several short film projects as an assistant director, writer and editor. She is working on new film narrative projects, one of which will be exploring the local life and customs of a small Mongolian village. In her work, she strives to support female story tellers and artists.

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Director Statement

My film J1 is about a Russian immigrant who comes to New York to become a costume-designer and how her dreams are met with harsh reality. It is a story about immigrant’s pure faith in the “American dream” and an opposition of locals who ridicule it. My characters are based on people I knew and partially on my experiences, my favorite movies about New York and its many iconic locations.
This story was rewritten many times because I wanted to fully show and transcend the emotions and feelings of being alone in foreign city with unknown culture and language. This story is just the tip of the iceberg of the immigration problem for young women that for whatever reason run for the better future to United States, often they are on their own without the language and visa. Alina is newly arrived and full of hopes to achieve her “American Dream” and Lana is an old story that used to have dreams but now is striping to survive and desperately trying to get married to get a “green card” as her looks fade away. I am exploring themes like womanhood, diversity of life choices, immigration and existence of “The American Dream”.
The story unfolds within a three months period because that’s how long “J1” working visa lasts, so we filmed it accordingly. The beginning of the story was produced in October and the end in late November, giving us an opportunity to show time passage along with the color pallet. I thought it would be important to show all the iconic New York’s locations since it is a story of a little person versus a big city. As a student film every location was a challenge to shoot and sometimes we just didn’t have a city’s permission or couldn’t use a tripod let along the additional lighting equipment and that is why I didn’t sacrifice any of them during the editing process. We were tremendously lucky to film at LaGuardia Airport from the terminal arrival’s parking lot to the security check and that adds an enormous production value to our project. As we moved to the postproduction process we added to our team a very talented singer who produced an incredible original soundtrack.
I was extremely lucky to work with the team of people that truly believed in my story and me, not only they helped me to bring words to life with their hard work but they showed me the power of the path I chose.