ABOUT AUTHOR/DIRECTOR SOPHIA ROMMA
Sophia Romma (known as Sophia Murashkovsky in her early work) is screenwriter and producer of the Garnet Grand Prix Award-Winning international arthouse motion-picture"Poor Liza," starring Emmy Award-Winning and three-time Golden Globe winning acto, Ben Gazzara and Obie, two-time Emmy and Academy Award-Winning actress, Lee Grant. Directed by Slava Tsukerman, the émigré cult director of "Liquid Sky," it won honorable mention for best original drama phantasma at the Cairo Film Festival, took second prize for revival of surrealism and mysticism in film, won first prize at the 21st Moscow International Film Festival for the Bunuel Film Series Tribute and was awarded the Garnet Grand Prix Bracelet from the St. Petersburg Literature in Film Festival, which is equivalent to receiving the coveted Oscar.
She penned the screenplays and directed three films for New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing Program: "So Happy Together," "Pornography! Pornography! Pornography!" and "Commercial America in the 90’s." She wrote the screenplay for the documentary "Call Girls for Hire: The Sex Slave Trade Epidemic in Eastern Europe," for which she was honored with Moscow’s Social Awareness Documentary Film Award at the Moscow Women Make Documentaries Film Festival. Romma also wrote and directed a series of cutting-edge short films for the New York Film Academy: "Underneath Her Make-Up" (unveiling the stigmatized and hounded LGBTQ community in India) and "The Frozen Zone" (shedding light on the supernatural healing powers of ancient shamanism and its infinite wisdom).
Dr. Romma is the author of fourteen stage-plays, produced Off-Off Broadway/Off-Broadway, three of which were produced at La MaMa E.T.C. Her play, “The Past Is Still Ahead” which she wrote and directed, ran at the Cherry Lane Theatre, at the Midtown International Film Festival and toured Montauk, London, Moscow, Montreal and Seoul. The Negro Ensemble Company presented “The Mire” at the Cherry Lane Theatre; it was heralded by the New York Times for “grinding down stubborn cultural borders with love’s symphony.” Romma’s “Cabaret Émigré” was lauded by The Villager for "delving deep into the dislocated émigré’s soul in erotic quantum verse.”
Romma graduated from Tisch School of the Arts, earning her B.F.A. from the Dramatic Writing Program and her M.F.A. from the Dramatic Writing and Cinema Studies). She holds a Ph.D. in Philology from Maxim Gorky Literature Institute and a Masters of Law from Fordham University School of Law.
She has directed plays by Leslie Lee, August Wilson and Austin Phillips at the Schomburg Center, taught Playwriting and Screenwriting at the Frederick Douglas Creative Art Center, and The Art of Absurdist Theatre Directing at the Mayakovski Academic Art Theatre. She also taught The Art of Narrative Screenwriting and Film History at the New York Film Academy and Cinematography at VGIK (the legendary Russian State University of Cinematography). Romma served as Literary Manager of the Negro Ensemble Company for over five years. She is Producing Artistic Director of Garden of the Avant-Garde Film and Theatrical Foundation, which is dedicated to achieving gender parity in theatre and fostering peace through performance art. Currently she is the Human Rights Foreign Policy/Extremism Fellow at Human Rights First.