You’ve only been working as a film director for two years, yet you have an extensive video portfolio which includes commercials, fashion films and music videos. Do you feel that you were brought up in a particularly creative environment? And what do you think has led you to become a director?
More than a film director, I see myself as a multidisciplinary artist. I graduated in Fashion Photography from the London College of Fashion, so that was my first step into the creative world. Before that, I wouldn’t really say I was particularly surrounded by creativity growing up – however I’ve always been inspired by psychology and philosophy. For example by the likes of Victor Frankl and Alfried Längle who raise existential questions over the human existence. I guess video just became a way to bring out and work through whatever was lurking inside of me. It’s therapeutic and it has become a playground for my ideas.
Your latest work, Kokosmos, is all about space and the unknown. Specifically, it’s a tribute to Russia’s infatuation with space. Can you tell us more about what you mean by this?
I grew up in post-soviet Russia and that had a big impact on how I perceived the world. For example, space was a big part of my childhood as it is for every Russian. I’d be dreaming about it and wondering about what or who was out there. Kokosmos is just the visual interpretation of that journey. It’s expressing what that universe would look like and what a potential omnipotent entity would sound like. It combines different visual elements that wouldn’t normally fit together, such as floating astronauts in a forest, space snails and planets being kissed. Ultimately it’s just meant to be enjoyed as a purely visual piece.
With Kokosmos, you are combining real footage with CGI. Is this something you are looking to explore further?
It was actually the first time I worked with CGI. I was a little unprepared to be honest, as there was no CGI supervisor. This led me to make decisions which made things more complicated in post-production. But it all worked out in the end and it was definitely a learning experience. It’s actually something that I would love to explore further in my future productions as I only got a taste of its potential. I feel it’s a great tool to bring my worlds to life.
Looking through your work, I particularly enjoyed your fashion film Detour. The film is surreal and tender, playing with the idea of hair taking over the world. What inspired you to create this piece?
There is always something surreal about my work. And I always enjoy losing myself in thought and wondering “what would happen if?”. I remember I was flicking through a magazine and saw some hair photographed across different surfaces. That made wonder about what would happen if hair took over the world and became conscient. This was the starting point. I then imagined what that world would look and, more importantly, feel like. I really wanted to portray the sense of touch and seeing someone surrounded by hair is an immediate memory trigger for it. The result is the creation of a sensual, yet slightly sinister environment.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m still working towards defining my vision, which I feel it’s going to be an ongoing process. But it’s becoming clearer, as I know that I want to focus on bringing surreal ideas to life that are visually striking and able to break away from what’s expected – both through my video work as well as my art installations.
Director and executive producer: Anna Radchenko @ KODE media
Co-director: Mikhail Svjatogor
DoP: Roman Yudin
Producer: Anastasia Limarenko
Model: Yana Dobroliubova
CG artist and supervisor: Murat Kılıç
CG artist: Yanis Georges
CG compositing: Murat Kılıç
Music and sound design: Lister Rossel, Utkucan Eken @ We Are Playhead
Singer: Alyusha Chagrin
Editors: Suga Supiah, Ikki Dhesi
Colour: Tobias Tomkins @ CHEAT
Post-production producer: Jack Goodwin @ KODE media
Make-up: Darya Kholodnykh
Stylist: Anna Bakhareva
Fashion designers: o5o.moscow, AVA11, Go Authentic, Anya Komyagina
Location: Geppener Studio (Moscow)
Director: Anna Radchenko
Art Direction & Set Design. Lisa Jahovic and Helen Sirp
Producer. Ellie Rudd
Director of Photography. Edgar Dubrovskiy
Stylist. Danielle Goodman
Makeup Sara Sorrenti
Hair Stylist. Ronnie Woodward
Starring Nastya Salenko
Colour Jason R Moffat
Sound Karl Sadler Cecilie Darling Emilie Søgaard
Editor Ben Matthews