Screenwriter / Producer/ Director, Film Director
Born in 1972 in Kazakhstan, Dana is a writer, screenwriter and director residing in Los Angeles, California.
Having been trained as a TV journalist, she worked as a reporter in various media outlets and a liaison officer at the Press Office of Foreign Affairs of her home country. In 1993, she studied political science at the Central European University in Prague, Czech Republic.
From 1995 to 2015, Dana was a staff member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Her work as Adviser for Communication and Information took her to 85 countries. She was stationed in Paris, Northern Iraq, Beijing and Costa Rica.
Her script “Dragon Angel” won the Best Project for Co-Production Award at the XV Shanghai Film Festival. A treasure-hunt that sends a French-American boy and his Chinese friends racing through China and down the history lane, “Dragon Angel” is a story of friendship and redemption. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/21/entertainment/la-et-mn-shanghai-film-festival-dragon-angel-2...
In 2014, Dana wrote and directed her first feature film “Defenders of Life.” Set in a rainforest of Costa Rica, it tells the story of three generation of Ngäbe indigenous women. The film enjoyed 22 selections by film festivals and 10 wins including Best Foreign Film at the Burbank Film Festival, the Viva Latino Film Festival NYC and Mostra Amazona de Cine. It is currently available on Amazon Prime and Flix Premiere. https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage-costa-rica-conversation-director-dana-ziyasheva/
Her novel “Shock” was published in France in 2017. “Shock” follows a tragic destiny of a young French idealist turned mercenary and cannibal in the 90s. https://criminocorpus.hypotheses.org/31305
In April 2018 Dana has completed production of her second feature film entitled “Greatland.” Shot entirely on location in Los Angeles with a 50-strong crew, “Greatland” is a crazy ride into the modern day American mindset.
Dana attended script-writing classes with particular focus on TV pilots at the Writing Pad and the Script Anatomy in Los Angeles. She considers Pat Charles (Black Lighting, Bones, Sons of Anarchy) her mentor in the world of TV series.
Dana’s son Arman Darbo is a young, up-and-coming actor. His film “And Then I Go” is currently receiving rave reviews from Indiewire, Forbes, Hollywood Reporter, etc. and is 83% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. http://ew.com/movies/2018/04/17/and-then-i-go-review/
Besides her native Kazakh, Dana speaks English, French, Russian, fluent Spanish and survival Chinese.
Below are a few links to Dana's work coverage in the press:
Documentary Film, Women DirectorsSkills
Screenwriting/Drafting/Pre Production, Directing