The Imperialists Are Still Alive

A Flim By Zeina Durra

About The Movie


Gorgeous 16 millimeter grain imbues the film with an anachronistic feel that interestingly evokes times past. The Imperialists Are Still Alive! is an exceptional work and heralds the coming of Durra as an exciting new directorial talent.

Director: Zeina Durra
Screenplay: Zeina Durra
Cinematography: Magela Crosignani
Producers: Zeina Durra, Vanessa Hope


A successful visual artist working in post-9/11 Manhattan, Asya, lives the life of the a hip and is replete with exclusive artwork parties, supermodels, and stretch limousines while she follows the situation in the Middle East on television.

Asya's life is reflects the themes of cultural fusion, and the complications and humor that arise simultaneously as a part of her everyday life.




Zeina Durra is a writer/director. She obtained her BA in Asian Studies from Oxford University and MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Film Programme. Her directorial debut, THE IMPERIALISTS ARE STILL ALIVE! , starring the French actress Elodie Bouchez premiered in US Competition at Sundance 2010.



Produced the feature documentary WILLIAM KUNSTLER: DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE which premiered in Sundance 2009, will be released by Arthouse Films and air on POV. She started her film career producing in China on Wang Quanan's film THE STORY OF ERMEI which debuted in Berlin 2004. 



Magela Crosignani was born in Uruguay. She holds a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA from the prestigious American Film Institute where she earned her degree in cinematography. She has shot several short films and received a Kodak Cinematography award at the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival and the Maurice Kanbar Achievement in Cinematography Award at the 2004 and 2005 Fusion Film Festivals. 


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Simple Tips for Making Short Film

Creating a short film might seem like an easy task, but it takes real skill and patience to bring out the message you want to share with your audience. You need to value every second of the video and bring out the best you can. Short films are quite popular these days, and you have several channels where you can play your video.

 Making Short Film

So if you are keen on making a short film, the following are some of the tips you can use:

Create a storyline:

One of the first things to do when you are making a short film is to create a storyline. You need to think of a short story which can convey the message you are trying to deliver, and the story must also be interesting to captivate the minds of people. Decide on the tone of the story; you need to decide if the film is horror, drama, inspirational or romantic. You can think of an interesting event that happened in your life, and you can convey that story to your audience.

Get the scripts ready:

After getting the story ready, you need to write the scripts for the short film. If your film is about 10 minutes, then you can create scripts for about 7 to 8 pages. You can even search for scripts that are posted online and get a rough idea of how your scripts must be.


Storyboard is an important part of creating your short film, and it is required to create a quality video. Using a storyboard, you will be able to recreate the entire video on a piece of paper so that you can make alterations to it if you want. A storyboard will keep you on track, and you will have a rough idea of how the film is going to be.

Get a suitable location:

Based on the script of the film you need to select an appropriate location. If you are shooting indoors, then you can use your apartment or a friend’s apartment. But if you are shooting outside you need to make sure that you are legally allowed to shoot in that particular area. There are some areas where you can get a permit and shoot your film. But you need to understand that it can cost you a lot of money and you can spend that money elsewhere.

Get actors and the crew members:

If you have a good budget, you can hire professional actors to act in your movie, or if you happen to have friends who can act, then you can use them as actors. Make the actors practise the dialogues and tell them where they need to give more emphasis and help them understand the essence of the film. It is also important to have crew members to handle the camera and various other equipment.


One of the final steps is to edit the video. You can run the film and check if all the scenes have come correctly and if you are not satisfied with a particular scene, you can either edit it or retake the scene.


How to Create a Storyboard

Creating a video might sound like an easy job, but once you start working on the video, you will know that it is not that easy. Without having a storyboard, it is tough to complete your video. A storyboard is a visual representation of rough sketches which will show the outline of each scene in the video. Having a storyboard is very important to unfold a video by each shot. It is more of a comic strip where you have rough sketches of each scene of the video on a piece of paper.

How to Create a Storyboard

You do not have to have an elaborate artwork; understandable and straightforward sketches would just do fine and here is how to make such a storyboard:

Get the templates ready:

Just like a comic strip, you need to draw rectangles in a series on the paper, and you can also leave some space at the end to make some notes. There are many templates on the internet which you can download. Pick a template that is suitable for the video that you are going to make and download accordingly.

Arrange which event will come before the other:

Establishing which scene will come before the other is quite important. You need to jot out points which will help you understand in which order the events of the story will happen. You can also create a narrative timeline where you can list out all the main events that will happen in the story and how those events will appear on the screen.

Depending on your video you can alter the details on the paper:

A storyboard can be a simple sketch or a detailed illustration. Depending on your video you need to detail the storyboard. One thing that you need to remember is that a storyboard is created to help you to create your video. So you need to make sure to put in all the details which you will require to make the video. Don’t try to make it very complicated where you will not be able to understand the storyline.

Camera movement:

You may create a layout which might have various subjects and landscapes, but you will also need details on how your camera movement is going to be at a particular scene. The movement of the camera can be described in a storyboard by using arrows. For planning you can show arrows in a specific direction and for zooming in you can show arrows pointing towards the picture and for zooming out, you need to make the indicators point outwards.

Finalizing your storyboard:

After figuring out all the key points for your storyboard, you need to review each design in all the templates and finalise the scenes. If you feel that you understand the essence of the story and if you can grasp the key points that are represented in the storyboard then you can finalise the design and use it for making your video.


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