Ivan Malekin & Sarah Jayne Portelli | NPG
Filmmakers with Nexus Production Group
Ivan Malekin found film with a little serendipity back in 2007 and has never looked back. He is an award-winning producer, director and editor whose short films have screened and won awards both locally and internationally.
Ivan's debut feature film, Dace Decklan: Private Eye (2012), is available through Bounty Films and OzFlix. As the founder and director of the Made In Melbourne Film Festival from 2009- 2016, and Short Cut Monthly Film Nite from 2010-2012, he was heavily involved in the Melbourne independent film scene. Ivan also curated the cinema component of monthly film, comedy, and burlesque variety event Theatre Nuevo (2014), and has been a guest curator at a variety of events, including White Night Melbourne (2014) Down Under Berlin (2015), and Swanpool Community Cinema (2015-2016).
In 2014 Ivan was added to the Master List of Melbourne Independent Filmmakers compiled by veteran indie movie-maker Bill Mousoulis, and also selected for the 'Top 50 Australian Independent Film Heroes' list.
In 2017 his latest short film as a director, Zina, won a Platinum Remi at Houston Worldfest, the oldest independent film festival in the world. Topping off the year, Ivan also co-produced and co-directed the ambitious improvised feature film Friends, Foes & Fireworks in one night over New Year's Eve, and also produced the bold black and white feature Choir Girl, directed by John Fraser.
Currently Ivan lives in Malta, working as a freelance video editor. Along with Sarah Jayne he has just wrapped production on NPG's fourth feature, In Corpore, a film dealing with relationships and betrayal of body and soul set in Melbourne, Malta, New York, and Berlin.
Sarah Jayne is a writer and film director, originally from Melbourne, Australia. Her freelance film and television career kicked off within the Art Department in 2006, which saw her working and gaining extensive experience crewing on television sets, numerous short films and feature films. Taking on various art department roles in both Melbourne and Sydney helped Sarah Jayne become multi-skilled within the art department, which lead to her also working as a props stylist and builder for photoshoots.
In 2013 Sarah Jayne moved into writing and directing her first film, Dusk, and since then she has been predominantly working as a writer, director, and producer on her own films under Nexus Production Group, including Anniversary and Daughter - the latter a short film and awareness project addressing victim-blaming and gendered violence, starring Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why, Love Simon).
From 2012 – 2016 Sarah Jayne worked with the Made In Melbourne Film Festival in the roles of administration, marketing and coordination. She was also heavily involved in coordinating the monthly film events Short Cut and Theatre Nuevo alongside Ivan Malekin.
Sarah Jayne recently co-directed NPG's ambitious feature film Friends, Foes & Fireworks - shot in one night on New Year's Eve - as well as In Corpore, NPG's second improvised feature film. Sarah Jayne continues to work with NPG as a writer and director, and having recently moved to Malta, she also pursues projects in the European film industry. Her highlights in Malta so far include working as a props master on St Mary’s, a high-rating Maltese television show and as a stagehand for avant-garde theatre production Collapse written by Adrian Buckle.
Friends, Foes & Fireworks
Friends Foes & Fireworks is an improvised independent Australian feature film written, produced and directed by Ivan Malekin and Sarah Jayne of Nexus Production Group.
Shot in one night over New Year’s Eve and currently streaming worldwide through Amazon Instant Video and Prime, OzFlix, and Vimeo On Demand, the film has been dubbed 'an indie gem' by Indie Film Hustle and 'bold and brave' by Cinema Australia. The film premiered at the independent Classic Cinema in April 2018 as part of a short cinema season in Melbourne, Australia. Come 2019, Friends, Foes & Fireworks will be available on DVD across North America.
“There is something very authentic about the approach Malekin and Jayne take that transcends the simple fact that everything is improvised.” UK Film Review
Friends, Foes & Fireworks was inspired by the mumblecore shooting style and improvised storytelling elements of films by the Duplass Brothers and Joe Swanberg, plus the raw but flowing cinematography of Sean Baker's Tangerine. However, Friends, Foes & Fireworks stands alone as a unique example of filmmaking, as it mashes together mumblecore elements with high production values and a story full of twists and turns.
“I love the fact I can forget this is a fiction and I can feel like a fly on the wall during a crazy few hours in the life of other people.” IndyRed
Friends Foes & Fireworks throws the audience into a New Year’s Eve reunion between five independent actors, which becomes a test of friendships when old tensions surface and hard truths are told. Will the group make it through the night together or will their friendship fizzle out like an overzealous fireworks display?