Zoya Laktionova was born in Mariupol in 1984. She made her first appearance in the world of documentary cinema as a character in the film "Ma"(10’) in 2017, and a year later she directed her first short documentary, "Diorama", about the mined sea in the Mariupol area. The film won an award in the MyStreetFilms category at the “86” festival (Ukraine) in 2018, was selected by several European film festivals, and was released in Ukraine in 2019. "Territory of Empty Windows" (10’) premiered in 2021 at the DocudaysUA International Human Rights DFF and received several awards in various festivals across Europe.
During her residency at the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Zoya will work on two projects: a full-length hybrid documentary film, Ashes That Settle in Layers on the Surface, about her native city of Mariupol, and a short film, Muto, telling the story of the Roma genocide in Ukraine.