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EXCLUSIVE: Maurizio Bavutti's Sarah Deanna

The acclaimed photographer presents his surreal first short film exclusively for Dazed Digital

Photographer and filmmaker Maurizio Bavutti, an apprentice to photographers Mert&Marcus for four years, premieres his first short film exclusively on Dazed Digital. The surreal aesthetic, which comes through in his photographs is finely tuned to create something unnerving but beautiful. Talking to Maurizio it becomes quite clear that this is the work of a true romantic.

Dazed Digital: What is the idea behind the piece?
Maurizio Bavutti: The video is about a Russian ballerina from the 20's left out in a prop storage basement somewhere. She has become a ghost and is alive again in a different dimension, she is a suffering fragile woman who hopes to be part of a show again, with a hope to be alive again. The aim of this film was to create fear and emotion with a colour palette aesthetic, talking about a mysterious and romantic woman left out. 

DD: There’s a real element of dreaminess and fantasy in your work. This video is particularly nightmarish and the model is very alien/otherworldly. What influences your work exactly?
Maurizio Bavutti: Yes, I am a dreamer and I use this media to create moments of fantasy. The casting is always relevant and very important; here I was looking for a beautiful doll with a fragile and romantic soul. I don’t think I have one particular influence, though. I am very instinctive.

DD: What do you hope people will gain from your work/your films?
Maurizio Bavutti: This work is inspired by a moment, an experience, an idea, a vision and a memory. I try as hard as I can to combine these things in order to tell a story, convey an emotion. I just hope to inspire emotion in the viewer!

DD: What is gained from filming rather than photographing a subject?
Maurizio Bavutti: There are more challenges in 30 seconds than there is in one image. A film has more of a narrative. The signs and significances are a myriad of things all combined together to guide you in a direction, to take you on a journey. But a still image feeds the imagination more as it is free from most of the elements which suggest to you how it should be interpreted. I don’t prefer one medium to the other. I'm just enjoying being able to use both. This is the beginning of a new era where we (photographers) have a door open into a new, very experimental world...this is why I like it!

DD: What other projects or plans are you working on?
Maurizio Bavutti: I'm working on a new film and some other projects, which are all a continuation of this 'intense' mood. My career has just started, so I have millions of plans, but for the moment I'm just concentrating on what I'm doing day by day.

Text by Lily Bonesso