A young, mortally ill woman comes back to her hometown after living in Paris for 7 years, in order to give her family a morally questionable “present”.

Darling Parisite - Trailer


Roxana, a girl in her mid-twenties living in Paris, discovers she has a butterfly brain tumour and has one year left to live. She returns home to Vancouver to spend her last year with her friends and family. She decides to have a baby, both to ease her passing for her parents and to continue on her family lineage. Her friend David, who has always loved her wants to be the baby’s father and is against the baby being produced in vitro.

Artist Statement

Back in Kazakhstan, where I am from, my very first filmmaking mentor was asked: “What is cinema?”. “Cinema is magic” – she replied. Up to this day, this is one and only definition of cinema that I acknowledge.


Years later, browsing through my vocabulary, in attempts to find appropriate words to generalize my own film practice, here’s what I came up with: melancholic, romantic, reminiscent, somewhat hopeful, fiercely personal. The common thread that comes across in each and every one of my films is that all of them are narrative-based and character-driven. In my work, I generally try to reflect upon how certain traumatic experiences give us chance to start over, live a fuller life and be better people. I think I mostly tend to tell stories about utterly imperfect people: on the one hand you can see they are deeply flawed, but on the other hand, you could understand where they come from and empathize with them. In my films, I explore topics of womanhood, toxic relationships, family values, mortality and coping with loss. All of my works are based on my personal experiences to a certain extent. Some of them start with my secret fears or desires and take a “what if” turn in the process, as if described events would happen somewhere in the parallel, yet very realistic universe. In other films, I tell slightly cinematically distorted stories of things that actually took place in my real life.


The huge portion of my process is working with the cast and crew. The moment they receive the script, the characters and the story I’ve created stops being just mine, and becomes ours. And when the film is ready for more people to see it, the ultimate goal is that more people would join us in sharing the story together. The biggest compliment for me as for a filmmaker is to see that people were moved by watching my film. That they somehow could relate to what they’ve seen.


As I have mentioned above, my works are based on personal experiences, fears or desires. They are basically the confluence of my real world and my imagination. One might think I have poor imagination, since it lacks literary anything surreal or magical. I kindly disagree. I believe that magic lives in each and everyone of us. And for me seeing how my films provoke thoughts, feelings and emotions is the certain proof that cinema indeed is magic.

Film Stills - Darling Parisite

Behind The Scenes - Darling Parisite

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR | Sabira Pashkevich

I was born and raised in Kazakhstan, and although I love my homeland very much, I never felt like I belong there. I had a dream, almost bordering with the idee fixe, to move somewhere to study filmmaking. Luckily my parents supported my intentions to get a good film education, and at the age of seventeen I moved to Vancouver to attend the international boarding high school (Bodwell), where I lived and studied together with kids coming from all over the world. This is one of most valuable and fun experiences of my life, because I got a chance to make friends with people of such varied backgrounds.


After graduating Bodwell, I enrolled at Emily Carr University to study filmmaking. Why filmmaking? I am a natural born storyteller, and I felt like being a film major would give me variety of tools and connections to tell stories from various positions, and so far my expectations have been met. The reason I chose to go specifically to Emily Carr University is that I was very curious to see what is it like to be surrounded by a great variety of art works on a daily basis. Having spent four academic years there, I gotta say that it totally widened my views on every single aspect of life, giving me the courage to experiment without the fear of judgement. In addition to my film practice, the curriculum in Emily Carr University is built in a way that provides every student with profound knowledge and understanding of various art courses, through lectures, personal research, museum visits, essay writing and much more. I loved this part of my major, and I believe this is one of the reasons of why getting my professional education in this institution was the right choice.


Even though I had been enjoying my time at university and in Vancouver, I still felt there was so much more to life. In my third year, when I got the opportunity to go on an exchange program, I took it in a heartbeat. In 2018, I spent 3 months studying at the University of Reading in UK, expanding my education by taking courses in theatre and television studies. During my semester abroad, I also had a chance to solo-travel across Europe, which was a very enlightening personal experience.


After coming back to Vancouver, I participated in the RAW Artists showcase, presenting several of my films at the event. In the spring semester of 2019, I took a few courses that allowed me to focus directly on practices I am most interested in, which are writing, directing and producing.


My last year of university, I worked on my graduation film, which was the most challenging production of mine so far.