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 recently 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 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.