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The teen prodigy behind Gosha Rubchinskiy’s new film

Introducing Dominic Sesto, the 18-year-old who shot backstage at Rubchinskiy’s SS17 show – watch the film exclusively here

While Gosha Rubchinskiy may be best known for channelling the spirit of Russia’s youth into fashion and photography, his vision is bigger than clothes and photobooks – it’s about fostering a global community of emerging creative talents. A new film, premiered here, is a prime illustration of that fact. While the short documents the designer’s SS17 runway show, staged at Pitti Uomo in June, Rubchinskiy didn’t want to be the focus of this article – instead, he wanted to shine the spotlight on the 18-year-old filmmaker who made it. That filmmaker is Dominic Sesto, a former gymnast hailing from north London. Here, Sesto reveals how he got into photography and filmmaking, how he met and later became friends with Rubchinskiy, and what it was like making this film.

How did you get into photography and filmmaking?

Dominic Sesto: I was actually a gymnast when I was super-young – all the way up to the age of 16 or 17. Then I got a really bad arm injury and that sort of abruptly stopped it so I was forced to look into other things. I got into painting and artistic stuff and then transitioned into photography and film. I have a couple of friends whose parents are in the industry and have been super-supportive of me. I’ve had really cool opportunities to explore what I really wanted to – I’m lucky in that sense.

How did you get approached for this film? Have you worked for Gosha before?

Dominic Sesto: I haven’t worked with him before but we’ve been friends for a couple of years now. He originally asked me to model for him and I wasn’t really into it, but I told him how I’m into camerawork and documenting things and taking stills, and he said, ‘Oh, come out to see a few shows.’ He gave me free rein to do what I wanted. He said we’d look at the outcome and see what we could do with it.

How did you meet him in the first place?

Dominic Sesto: He actually approached me on Instagram while I was working on my last job and then we met up for his exhibition – I think it was with 032c in Berlin. He had a show and we met up and had a chat, that’s when he asked me to model for him. He took some pictures of me and said to keep in touch. I met him again in Paris the following month and we just had a chat over dinner and sort of connected. We talked about each other’s passions and where we wanted to be, and how we could possibly work together.

What was shooting the film like?

Dominic Sesto: Everything worked out pretty perfectly – it was an awesome location. It just felt right, you know, as soon as I was there. All the boys were super-cool – I knew a couple of them, so it was really easy to hang around back there. Gosha was super-supportive, he was helping me out with some camera stuff – it was just a great vibe. It didn’t feel like work, it was good fun.

How would you describe the atmosphere backstage?

Dominic Sesto: It was great, super-relaxed, but at the same time, everyone was so professional. There were no mess-ups at all. 

“(Gosha’s) not pretentious in any way – you know how he’s blown up? You can tell that it’s really not getting to him. He’s got his own little mission and he’s on it” – Dominic Sesto

What do you make of Gosha and the world that he’s got around him?

Dominic Sesto: He’s one of my good personal friends, I really like spending time with him. He’s not pretentious in any way – you know how he’s blown up? You can tell that it’s really not getting to him. He’s got his own little mission and he’s on it. He doesn’t mix with people who are not on the same wavelength as him and keeps it all (in) his world. I respect him a lot.

Do you have plans to work with him again?

Dominic Sesto: Yeah – I’m going to be working with him in the next couple of days actually, we’ve got some cool little projects coming up.

How much interaction have you had with his other collaborators, like Tom Emmerson and Valentin Fufaev?

Dominic Sesto: I’m good friends with Tom and Valentin. I’ve been friends with Tom for a while but, through going to Italy, I’ve built a connection with Valentin as well. They’re super-cool, and Gosha’s cool with all of us together as well.

Where do you hope all of this goes? Do you want to make films long-term?

Dominic Sesto: Yeah, I do. I want to make some independent films and short films and also do a lot of artwork with my photography too – maybe put on some exhibitions and sell some work. And I’d love to collaborate with some photographers I know – but I want to make more abstract, artistic work as opposed to commercial stuff.

@dom_sesto