‘America gives absolute freedom’: as an immigrant from Russia, became a successful producer in the United States

I was born and raised in Moscow, — says “Voice of America” film and TV producer Jenny Petrovich. — When I was 13 years old, one day my parents came and said, “We’re moving to America.” Of course, when you’re 13 years old, you don’t understand and don’t agree with these decisions. I don’t think at that moment I was eager to go to America. We went on a Jewish theme, through Vienna, through Italy and finally got to Detroit.

'Америка дает абсолютную свободу': как иммигрантка из России стала успешным продюсером в США

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

Can’t say that as a child I could think was that I would become a television or film producer: we had three channels, showing they are one and the same, but I’ve always loved music and happy was waiting for them.

I was 13 years old — I didn’t feel any anti-Semitism, but people have always said, and in school sometimes I saw it on the examples of other children. There was some layer of the people who participated in anti-Semitism, but again, I was a child and just followed my family.

Came people with higher education that they could not apply in America. My mom worked in the first Studio on Gorky street, she always sewed, she was a designer, for such people, it is a little easier, because you work with your hands. She quickly got a job. Now she has her own business. Dad was high as a mining engineer. Of course, nobody will be engaged in mining engineering in Detroit. It took him some time to get a job, eventually he found a job at a computer company.

The most difficult was the adaptation to this country. Our family, other people. There were people who committed suicide, they were living in our apartment complex. People who could not stand. You arrive in America, you have nothing. We had absolutely nothing, I didn’t even have a bed, I slept on the couch, he wasn’t even decomposed. It is unclear what you can accomplish, to achieve, because at the moment you just don’t understand this country. It is impossible to be sociable.

'Америка дает абсолютную свободу': как иммигрантка из России стала успешным продюсером в США

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

I had a slightly complicated relationship with my parents, but then I didn’t understand how hard it is. When you’re a teenager and your parents have for you changed the country, not knowing the language, and you do not understand, of course, there are some difficulties. I believe that adaptation was the most difficult moment, and that period of time. But if you do, you will be able to obtain from that country whatever you want.

I knew one sentence: “What time is it?” I could ask people how much time — and this phrase is absolutely not needed, of course. English was zero.

First impression was terrible. Since I grew up in Moscow, arrived and ended up in the suburbs of Detroit — a two-story, rather. And you represent the America the like of which seen in films: great lights, beautiful sexy men… It was quite different. But when you begin to integrate into the culture, go to the store… it was all interesting. And here I heard the music I never heard — it was hip hop, it was reggae. For me it was something.

In school, of course, need some kind of assimilation do you not understand people completely. We had quite a lot of people, we were a group, called such “waves” and in the class there were 30 Russian. We assimilated slowly. At some point in the next year I went to live in California to my sister. There was no Russian and I had no choice but to learn the language and experience the culture of Americans.

'Америка дает абсолютную свободу': как иммигрантка из России стала успешным продюсером в США

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

A little bit of bad story, but I’ll tell you anyway. Again, this applies to Jewish themes. We are lucky in Cleveland to explain what Shabbat. I will never forget. We gathered in the room, all Russian children, and someone wanted to smoke. I said, “I know English, now I read”. It read: “No smoking allowed” (“no Smoking”). I turned and say: “You can smoke, but very quiet.” I thought allowed — it’s loud (loud). When they lit up and sounded the siren, we ran, I knew immediately that it was a complicated situation. I don’t fully understand the English language at the moment.

Higher education I received at the University. For my parents it was always very important. My parents are very practical people and they wanted me to have a practical education. I got it in IT and not a single day worked in the profession. I’ve always been a creative person. While studying at the University, I became a DJ quite a high international level. I was often on the tours, traveled the world and eventually about 10 years ago I had a man come and said, “coming To Michigan film industry, let’s open a business that will revolve around this industry.” I agree — I love to try new businesses.

So 10 years ago I opened my own production company. We started with corporate clients. About 8 years ago another friend of mine came to me and proposed to start his own TV show. Now it comes in his eighth season on the national channel PBC is a show lights of entrepreneurs across America, with him we travel. This started with my career.

'Америка дает абсолютную свободу': как иммигрантка из России стала успешным продюсером в США

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

To be a female DJ was very hard. To be a female producer too hard. Women is always hard in some male-dominated jobs. But I don’t believe in “hard”. I believe that we need to achieve and break your own door, to go to his own goals and never give up. People tell you “no”, but what does that mean? That’s not a Yes yet. We need to continue to push through all the “no” — and 99 times it becomes “Yes”.

Seriously? Everywhere hard. This year in America in theaters I came up with a film about the Russian five. This movie I was in a rental myself, and when I called and talked to some buyers in Hollywood, they didn’t like my technique discussion, some agreement, they said, “We’ll call your male partner”. I laughed in their face and said, “do You think he decides? No, you need to speak with me.” Just can’t give up. We must go further.

For me this film is a personal story. That’s what I want to leave behind. There are projects commercial projects personal. It is not Russian in principle, the story is more the story of Detroit is the story of how these guys have changed something, as in America playing hockey. I knew personally all the characters and lived the story.

'Америка дает абсолютную свободу': как иммигрантка из России стала успешным продюсером в США

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

Sorry, we didn’t qualify for the “Oscar”, but we qualified for an Oscar and was in the shortlist. We have the Prime Minister was in Russia, and in Israel, and in London, we have a very long way to go and a lot of work — a sense, of course, gorgeous. But for us, a greater sense — a feeling fans of the movie. We have become one of the 10 films last year that got a Perfect Score on Rotten Tomatoes (a site rating movies and TV shows — approx.ed.). We received a 100% from critics and 99% from audience. It is almost impossible. That is, people like this movie.

There are many plans, plans we always. We now produce the eighth season of the show, developed from 7 to 9 new TV projects, also I am in production of two new documentary films. Projects always enough.

'Америка дает абсолютную свободу': как иммигрантка из России стала успешным продюсером в США

Photo: scenes video of “voice of America”

America gives man absolute freedom. I’ve been to 35 countries and I believe that it is the only country in the world where you can arrive with nothing, to be everything and stay a free man.

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