“My work, is mainly about exploring everything that I did not dare to do in my teenage years while I am getting to know many stories of other teens who are going through what I went through a few years ago.” – Exclusive interview with Leo Adef, filmmaker, story teller, photographer.
Could we start with some background information about you? Where you grew up, where you’re based, how did you get interested in the arts?
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I lived there until I was 22 years old. At that age, I moved to Barcelona and ever since I live and work here. Since I was a kid I had a lot of interest in the artistic and audiovisual world. I remember playing with cameras since I was very young. I worked for several years in different places, mainly related to TV and fashion, but when I came to Barcelona it was when I could finally dedicate myself to work in a more artistic way, exploring the themes that really interest me.
Your movies often talks about “adolescence.” How was yours?
Yes, it is a recurring theme in my work. My adolescence had different stages, although I do not think I had a bad adolescence. I experienced it with a lot of repression and that affected me a lot. Not only in the sexual part, but also in my interests and what I wanted to do that I would not allow myself to do. My work, is mainly about exploring everything that I did not dare to do in my teenage years while I am getting to know many stories of other teens who are going through what I went through a few years ago.
What is your relation with your ‘age’? Are you afraid of getting older?
No, I’m not afraid of that. I do not give much importance to age. I like to be aware of everything I am learning and growing over the years and the truth is that I am very happy with how I am growing as the years go by.
Before and during a session, what’s your relationship like with the models you chose to photograph/video?
That depends on each project. I always give a lot of importance to the choice of the boys and girls who participate in my projects. I like to first meet them, have a drink with them to connect and then make the work easier and more real. In commissioned projects, sometimes it is a bit more difficult because there are many people working, but I always try to achieve the highest degree of intimacy possible when working so that this can be transmitted later in the final piece.
What are you hoping to achieve through your images/videos?
I do not have a particular goal in doing what I do. I do it almost as a need to express things that I think, feel or have in my head. I am interested in being able to portray stories and moments with which others may feel identified or fantasize about them.
You have worked with big names and friends too. Who are some of your favorite people to work with over the years?
Yes, the truth is that the last two years I was able to work on very interesting projects. I was able to meet many people I admired, others who taught me many things or allowed me to open my head a lot. From the last time I remember as favorites the people I met in Paris and especially in Berlin while working in those cities.
Aside of photography/movie making, what are your hobbies/passion?
I still feel photography and direction as hobbies, I do not see them as a job. Apart from that, music and traveling are two things that are very present in my life. When all that is combined and I can travel to take photos or film is when I enjoy the most.
What is next on your list?
Now I’m working on a very interesting short film that I’ll be shooting very soon and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. 🙂
Find more Leo Adef video here.