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Meet Maria Staroselets

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Staroselets.

Maria, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born to a family of Russian circus producers and directors, my generation is number 3. As you can imagine, I was destined to become a storyteller and a traveler. I spent all of my childhood years in a traveling circus, we lived in caravans, moving from town to town in Western Europe, and throughout those years I’ve developed a feature of my personality, that determines me. I am very curious. I have a Masters in Philosophy and Religious Studies mainly because of that, I was curious about the world’s physical and metaphysical riddles. My main interest during the University years were ritual practices, dancing, and chanting, which brought me back to arts and entertainment at the long last.

I got my first certificate in Film production in 2005 and I was extremely lucky to start my filmmaking career on actual film! My mentors were Award-winning mavens of Soviet cinema, they taught me craft and technology in the very details. I still remember how to load a 35mm film magazine. I really miss film. That is pure magic that we can’t substitute with digital technology. But it’s my personal preference, the analog technology. As a filmmaker and an entertainer, I always wanted to live in LA, but every time I just brushed aside any thoughts about relocating, considering it to be just a foolish dream. But a dream can be more powerful than reality! Several years ago it became clear, that I am not living my best life, and the only option to have a happier, fuller life is to find likeminded people, focus on my directing career and to relocate. Los Angeles was my first best option. It is one of the most optimistic cities of the world, it’s history and people inspire me everyday since I’ve finally moved here. Los Angeles reminds me of all the cities I used to live in, so it feels like home on multiple levels.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My worst enemy is myself. Just like any other artistic and sensitive person, every now and then I am struggling not to drown in the ocean of indecision, self-doubt, self-loathing and fear. Fear of rejection and failure is the most painful. Sometimes it hurts so bad, that it can stop me from taking a good opportunity. I really hate myself for that. It’s the hardest job ever, to build up self-confidence.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am not only a filmmaker, I’ve been producing and directing live performances and circus shows for almost 15 years. My experience and interests are very diverse. Yes, I am a very curious and a passionate person! I was blessed that I’ve never worked on a trivial project in my entire life. I had the chance not only to do what I love most but to explore the complicated balance between the form and the content. One of the latest theatre shows, I’ve been working on as a producer, was a documentary story of two truck drivers, staged in a real moving truck. The audience was immersed into the setup and it felt more like a VR film, or even a trance. That was more than a show, it was a unique experience. It changed my whole perspective on life and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Currently, I am working on my original short film about the transformative power of sleep. The setup is an interview of an aspiring journalist with a mysterious art guru, that turns into a surreal journey to the borderline between reality and illusion. For more details on my latest project, «The Daily Dreamer», you can check out our crowdfunding page. My cast and crew were absolutely amazing, that is such a great honour to work with a team, so committed to the common cause. I love you, guys!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Entertainment is a dialogue, so I would say that the greatest success for me – is having mutual interest with the audience.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Photos by Alexey Staroselets, Alexandra Romanova-Shevskaya

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