Having earlier completed the online Professional Program in screenwriting at UCLA's School of Theatre, Film and Television (TFT), where she was nominated for UCLA's coveted Nate Wilson Award for Screenwriting for one of her student scripts, Zarina in 2018 also completed the screenwriting bootcamp at the UK's National Film and Television School (NFTS) .
Preceding that, her 3-minute documentary called 'The Lost Souls of San Francisco' - made during a 4-day learners' bootcamp in San Francisco on documentary film-making - was selected from the bootcamp entries for uploading to YouTube, where it can be viewed.
Next, her historical docudrama 'Flat 13' - written, directed, produced and narrated by her on a shoestring and edited by cinematographer and editor Steven Cholerton - was showcased at the 2009 Durban International Festival (DIFF) jointly hosted with the Berlinale International Film Festival. - where it was screened twice at The Suncoast NuMetro cinema by public demand, alongside the films of celebrated film-makers, later being nominated that same year for Best Director at China’s 10th Sechuan International Film Festival out of 3962 entries from 62 countries. The documentary continues to be distributed internationally by 'Off the Fence', an Amsterdam- based film distribution company
When the US's PBS TV channel sought to screen it to US audiences, ETV/eNCA, where Zarina had been a full-time staffer, refused to grant PBS permission to do so, as the docudrama, to which eNCA claimed the Intellectual Property, was the last interview President Nelson Mandela – who’d frequented Flat 13 as a young man - was prepared to give on camera. This scoop, which ETV/eNCA even in 2021 covets, not least because President Mandela famously declared - both in private conversations and in his autobiography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ - that ‘Flat 13 is where the first seeds of non-racialism were sown and the concept of a nation came into being'.
'Women of the Sun', an international organisation encouraging and promoting women film-makers in Africa, has screened the film at downtown Johannesburg's popular Market Theatre, including to a packed group of youth across SA's racial spectrum, who in the post-screening discussion unsurprisingly admitted they'd previously known nothing of Flat 13 nor of the group of young freedom activists across race and class that it attracted - including then 22 year old law student Nelson Mandela - at a time that his fellow law student, Ismail Meer, and the teenager Ahmed Kathrada, were the tenants of that flat.
Because that young audience were excited to have learnt of the pivotal role of Flat 13 in our history, a role forged by young women and men often dancing the night away as they debated the path to a future nonracial South Africa, 'Flat 13' has been used both in SA's Parliament to encourage racial cohesion and is being shown to schoolchildren for the same reason.
Those fearless 1950's Flat 13 activists defying apartheid's laws were to become leading artists, musicians, writers and politicians in SA, and included, to name just a few, Walter Sisulu, Nadine Gordimer, Ruth First, Sophie de Bruyn and Hugh Masekela, icons who would be turning in their graves at how their legacy has been squandered!