Sasha Lebedeva


Interview: Ajay Woolery Photography: Sasha Lebedeva

Last week we spoke with writer and director Sasha Lebedeva about her journey as a creative. Learn more about how she’s broken into the film industry, how’s she’s been navigating building her career and, the advice she’s got for you.


Give us a brief introduction of yourself and what you do?

SL: I am Sasha Lebedeva, a writer-director based in LA. I’m originally from Moscow but came to California at 18 to attend college and, you know, make it in Hollywood. My latest project is a short film called Hex & Rage, starring Clara McGregor and Riel Macklem and executive produced by Emmy-nominated Alyson Feltes. It’s a dark comedy about two stoner witches who avenge their stripper-friend by hexing the man who assaulted her. I strive to create absurdist dark comedies with surreal elevated visual style.


How did you initially get into film?

SL: From a young age, I was obsessed with cinema and wanted to get on professional sets. Back then, the only opportunity to do so was to become a child actor. So, I auditioned for years, finally getting some roles in Russian films and TV as a teenager, but I ultimately became disappointed with the industry there was funding stolen by the producers, directors didn’t care about the final product, characters were one-dimensional, the dialogue was forced, etc. Shortly after, I didn’t get into any theater schools, which meant my acting career was pretty much over. So really, the only way to get involved with the kind of cinema I wanted to be a part of was to create it myself.

Image By: Arthur Boyd

AB: I’m a 16 year old fashion designer, photographer and artist, based in a small village outside of Oxford. I’ve been exploring a wide range of different mediums over the past 4-5 years, focussing mainly on fashion but recently branching out in to a host of new techniques and materials. I’m entirely self taught for the majority of my public work, but I also attend an Art and Design course at college in Oxford.

Image By: Arthur Boyd


Your work intersects a variety of mediums, What would you say has inspired this creative intuition?

AB: I’ve always been interested in creative outputs: I spent 9 years of my life in performing arts and dance, and only recently decided to focus solely on fashion and art. I think the freedom that I was given when dancing has played a large role in my creative process. I’m very instinctive when designing pieces, I don’t try to plan a piece out too strictly, and when I do I usually end up taking a drastic turn part way through the process. I also think the idea of theatricality and performance comes through in my designs, whether deliberately or not - it’s been engrained into me. Photography has come naturally to me as my Dad has always been interested in it as a hobby, so I’ve been lucky enough to have access to cameras. I’ve really started to delve in to film photography over the past few years, just documenting the world around me, whether that be at home, in London with friends, or on holidays. Obviously over the past year I’ve spent a lot of time surrounded by my home environment, and have really come to appreciate how lucky I am in where I live. I’ve been taking a sketchbook and my camera with me wherever I go, and seeing new beauty in objects and places I’d seen hundreds of times before. Recently I’ve also been exploring digital art and the use of machine learning to create art, as well as teaching myself sound design. At this moment in time I’m just trying to learn as much as possible before I have more serious responsibilities that take up my time.

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Published 9.7.21