Margarita Zhitnikova

Actor, Producer, Screenwriter


Margarita is a Russian/Jewish award-winning actor & filmmaker. As a child, Margarita & their family moved to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, from Russia, as Jewish refugees. Margarita grew up exploring their identity in the heart of New York City, studying acting, eventually, embracing writing & producing, as well. In addition to creating Besties Make Movies (BMM), with work wife Stacey Maltin, Margarita co-founded Wildfire Film Initiative with Victoria Negri.

They wrote, produced & acted in the short film JONES which is currently doing festivals. JONES won Best Drama Short & was nominated for Best Actress (Margarita Zhitnikova) & Best Director (Stacey Maltin) at Twister Alley International Film Festival, as well as for Best Picture Editing at Festival of Cinema.

The short film 2 WEEKS which Margarita also wrote, produced & acted, successfully crowdfunded on Seed&Spark, earned an Official Selection (screenplay) at the prestigious HollyShorts Film Festival in 2018 & is currently finishing post production.

As an actor, Margarita was nominated for Best Actress at Twister Alley International Film Festival, Gig Harbor Film Festival, Simply Indie Film Fest & FirstGlance Film Festival, for their work in JONES. They are currently filming the leading role of Maggie in the feature TRIPLE THREAT & keeping their acting chops in peak condition as a cast member of The Velodrome Theater Company, as well as, by taking ongoing classes at The Studio Act under the direction of Brad Calcaterra.

Margarita is a proud member of The Filmshop, NYWIFT, Dreamers // Doers, The COBWEB, NYC Women Filmmakers, Glass Elevator & Women in Media. They are also honored to be judging films for the Revolution Me Film Festival.