Nominated for UCLA's prized Nate Wilson Award for Screenwriting for a student script, Zarina
had earlier made a 3-minute documentary at a beginners 4-day bootcamp on documentary film-making in San Francisco Called 'The Lost Souls of San Francisco' it was selected from the bootcamp entries for uploading to YouTube ()See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VywU0R4terM.
The docudrama 'Flat 13' which she then wrote, directed, produced and narrated on a shoestring - and which was edited by the talented cinematographer and editor Steven Cholerton - was showcased at the jointly-hosted 2009 Durban International Festival (DIFF)/Berlin International Film Festival - where it was screened twice by public demand alongside the films of celebrated film-makers.
Nominated that same year for Best Director at the 10th Sichuan Film Festival in China out of 3962 entries from 62 countries, it was sought by the US's PBS TV channel for screening to US audiences. However, ETV, where Zarina was a staffer, did not grant PBS this permission, as the docudrama includes the last interview Nelson Mandela was prepared to give on camera, a scoop ETV (its international news arm eNCA) still covets, especially since Mandela - who was one of those young people who frequented that flat in their youth - has also said of Flat 13, in his autobiography 'Long Walk to Freedom', that 'it is where the first seeds of non-racialism were sown and the concept of a nation first came into being'.
This docudrama is currently distributed internationally on behalf of ETV by ‘Off the Fence’, based in Amsterdam.
'Women of the Sun', an international organisation encouraging and promoting women film-makers in Africa, has also screened the film at downtown Johannesburg's popular Market Theatre to a packed group of youth across SA's racial spectrum, who in the post-screening discussion admitted they'd previously known nothing about Flat 13 and the group of young freedom activists across race and class that it attracted - including the law student Nelson Mandela, then in his early twenties. Rented by the Indian teenager Ahmed Kathrada this group would often dance the night away as they debated the path to a future nonracial South Africa, these young men and women fearlessly defying apartheid's laws forbidding inter-racial social and political gatherings, a group that were to become leading artists, musicians, writers and politicians in SA, including Walter Sisulu, Nadine Gordimer, Ismail Meer, Ruth First, Sophie de Bruyn and Hugh Masekela, to name a few.