Toronto’s Jasmin Mozaffari leaps to the force of a hugely exciting wave of new women filmmakers in Canada with this exhilarating debut feature. Of course, she gets considerable assistance from her almost entirely female key crew and from Michaela Kurimsky and Karena Evans, the two lead performers whose ferocious energy fuels this portrait of two teenage friends who share a dream to escape their dead-end small town and high tail it to New York. Of course, the events and entanglements in their lives mean it’s not going to be easy to win that freedom. Expanding her award-winning 2013 short to feature length without losing any of its fierceness, Mozaffari delivers a testament to the defiance and resilience displayed by young women who have everything standing in their way.
The 30-year-old Canadian writer and director Jasmin Mozaffari does not merely announce herself to be the new voice of Canadian cinema, but instead shouts it from the rooftops. Growing up in Barrie, Ontario, Mozaffari left York University to attend film Ryerson Film School when she realized that she should be making films as opposed to studying them. While at Ryerson, she partnered with producer Caitlin Grabham to turn FIRECRACKERS into the pair’s thesis film, which would go on to screen at TIFF in the 2013 Short Cuts program. However, playing the festival was no guarantee of future success, and the pair struggled to raise funds to match even their micro-budget vision for a feature-length FIRECRACKERS. Mozaffari is hopeful that a TIFF world premiere will lead to further opportunities, but she’s also experienced enough to know that’s not always the case. She’s currently working administrative jobs part-time, hoping to pick up work as a commercial director. However, having a feature film debut premiere in such an incredible way, definitely makes her a director to watch.