Experiencing Interruptions?

The Boyfriend Trick

'The Boyfriend Trick' dance film tells the story of a woman from Albania who is tricked into the sex trade in London by her boyfriend. The film is based on the true story of a client of The Medaille Trust, a charity that provides safe houses for victims and survivors of modern slavery in the UK. The soundscape was created with 'found' sounds from Albania.

  • Polina Zelmanova
    Shape Shifters (CYIFF)
  • Alison Porter
    Borgia's Kitchen, Car Wash (It's not my name)
  • Alison Porter
    Borgia's Kitchen, Car Wash (It's not my name)
  • Marisa Flamino
    Key Cast
    "Majlinda (dancer)"
    Marisa is a Portuguese classically trained ballet dancer and choreographer who also performs flamenco and contemporary dance.
  • Elizabeth Schenk
    Key Cast
    "Majlinda (voice)"
    Come Home (Unrestricted View Film Festival - best actress nomination) , Good - ensemble
  • Alex Hobbs
    Film and Sound Editor
    House of the Dragon, Us Among the Stones
  • Marisa Flamino & Alison Porter
  • R. B. (Rona) Castrioti
    Binders Stash, currently affiliated to Budapest Strings orchestra
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 13, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,300 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 2K HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Warwick
  • Collisions Festival, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD)
    United Kingdom
    October 29, 2021
    UK Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Feelings of Freedom Festival, Warwick Arts Centre
    United Kingdom
    November 25, 2021
    Official Selection
  • BB Dance Film Fest
    Boulder, Colorado
    United States
    April 4, 2022
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection - Emerging Choreographer
  • Resonate Festival, Coventry City of Culture
    United Kingdom
    April 19, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Wicklow Screendance Laboratory
    April 12, 2023
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Polina Zelmanova

Polina is a PhD student in Film and Television Studies at Warwick University and Assistant Project Manager at the Birmingham Indian Film Festival. She is interested in interdisciplinary arts, particularly avant-garde practices experimenting with form, as well as representations of gender and sexuality. Her film 'Shape Shifters', on the subject of body dysmorphia, was screened at the 2020 Cyprus International Film Festival (CYIFF).

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The themes of the 'Boyfriend Trick' - migration, human rights and gender violence, are important social issues for our times. I wanted to use the camera to show the emotional journey of a woman who follows the dream of a better life only to find herself in a world of degradation and despair.