Danse à Deux Temps

Graceful Fashion Film Directing Debut from Lebanese Filmmaker Jessy Moussallem

‘Real life. Stories I’ve heard, things I’ve lived,’ is what 24 year old, Lebanese filmmaker, Jessy Moussallem told us about the inspiration behind this graceful fashion- dance film, created for fashion brand, VANINA. It is about two women whom are best friends, performing choreography, which reflects all the complexities of their relationship.

‘Women of all ages are in need of friendship. The relationship between women is as strong as it is fragile.’

Coming from an art directing and styling background which included working on commercials, TV series and feature films, Jessy soon realized that she wasn’t completely satisfied with the road her creative career was going down.

‘In November 2014, I decided to stop accepting styling jobs,’ she told us. I called my friends Joanne and Tatiana, owners of the brand VANINA, and told them I want to do a fashion film for them. I locked myself in my room for 2 days and wrote a treatment. The next day I started searching for the locations. We had almost no budget.’

Jessy told us more about this collaboration of dance fashion and friendship:

The Plus: Where are the locations you filmed in & how did you pick them?
Jessy Moussallem:
It was filmed in the four corners of Lebanon. I didn’t want to work with a location manager. I found the locations alone. I ‘spied on’ people that I don’t know on Instagram, and when I liked one location I sent them a private message asking them exactly where the place was.

TP: What part of the process did you enjoyed the most?
Directing the actors. It was my favorite part. I picked them up everyday to get to the shoot. We drove, the three of us, talking about life and the scenes that we would shoot on that day. I enjoyed the editing part as well. It’s exciting to see the film coming to life. I also met an amazing editor, Carlos Font Clos, who I’m still close friends with now.

TP: The subtitle of the film is ‘A choreography of friendship’, are the dancers friends in real-life as well?
No they didn’t know each other. But I made sure that they stayed in the same apartment during the whole preparation and shooting. They clicked, and there was an incredible synergy between them. They kept in contact after the shoot!