Fintech. Brokerage services. The financial system.
This has been Bardya Ziaian’s focus for most of his professional career.
From President & CEO of Pario Technologies Corp. to founder of BBS Securities Inc. and Virtual Brokers, the latter of which was ranked the “Best Online Broker in Canada” by the Globe and Mail multiple times, to finally CEO & President of SITTU Group Inc., Bardya has more than two decades of experience in fintech.
But recently, he has discovered a new passion in a completely different industry.
As a producer and writer of Super Dicks, Bardya is starting a new endeavor.
“Breaking into the movie business with no former experience in filmmaking would likely deter most people,” Bardya shares. “But not me.”
Leveraging his knowledge of the financial industry, coupled with his creative thinking and his attention to detail, Bardya has embarked on a new journey that has tested his experience in an entirely different way…
With plenty of investment experience under your belt, what prompted you to move into the filmmaking industry?
Bardya Ziaian: I always wanted to make movies, to bring stories to life on screens.
I have many stories to tell, but I figured comedy is the best way to start at this special moment of our lives. Regardless of the mistakes we make in the movie, I believe no comedy is too silly.
How did you go about it?
Bardya Ziaian: I started with ideation, then progressed to writing the script, hiring talent, securing funding, and finally producing the film.
My team and I had no connections in the industry – we didn’t speak the language nor know the ins-and-outs of filmmaking. But, I wanted my team to learn everything and do it all on their own because at my core, I’m a learner.
I’ve always pushed myself and my teams outside of the comfort zone to learn and grow. Becoming a film producer, writer, and actor in Super Dicks attests to that philosophy.
Can you tell us more about the upcoming film?
Bardya Ziaian: Super Dicks is ultimately categorized as a comedy; having said that, I have tried to add some heavier, cultural undertones that I hope the audience will pick up on. I didn’t want to just write a funny movie – I wanted to write and produce a piece that was witty, smart, and thought-provoking, while giving audiences a chance to laugh out loud, and completely lose themselves in the story for a couple of hours.
We had terrific performances from our leads Paul Braunstein, Michael Man and Jennifer Hui. We were delighted to have Greg Bryk, most widely known for his work in Saw V. He is simply fantastic as “Braun White” in the film. We had Keara Graves, best known for her recurring role as “Grace” in the Netflix series, Grand Army, play the character of “Crystal.
Not to forget, we will have some other surprising people reprising interesting roles.
You started this project in the middle of the pandemic. Can you tell us more about that?
Bardya Ziaian: We had started research and script development pre-COVID. The pandemic didn’t stop our pace of shooting this film, though we did have the option to postpone. My thought process was, first of all, we would need a comedy, but, most importantly, this will create needed jobs. I’m glad that I made this choice. Some actors from our movie are incredibly talented theater artists who couldn’t perform due to the pandemic.
What advice do you have for others that may be thinking about taking a similar leap into unchartered territory?
Bardya Ziaian: I had no film background, but I dove right in and got my hands dirty. If there’s something you want to do, don’t be afraid to try it.
You’ll make mistakes, and you’ll learn from them. Ask questions, talk to people, and connect as much as you can.
Work hard and opportunity will be presented to you. Believe in yourself and take it.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Bardya Ziaian: Taking calculated risks is important in life. Do your homework, take the chance, and try something new.
Invest in yourself, and what you believe in because, at the end of the day, you are your biggest investment. I like to quote Benjamin Graham: “a person who is too fearful will end up performing defensively and thus fail to seize offensive advantages.”