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Danny Sangra directs Tourists for and Balenciaga

Danny Sangra’s made a new film, Tourists, for luxury fashion house Balenciaga and, the online shop for luxury designer fashion. It’s set in Paris and features three top models filmed in some of the French capital’s most photogenic spots. You already know what to expect, and can see the film in your mind’s eye, can’t you?

Well, no, no you can’t. This is a film conceived, written and directed by Danny Sangra, which means it doesn’t fit any of the conventions of shooting fashion. Instead, a tour guide takes three Balenciaga-clad models on a tour of Paris, taking in the major sights. But no matter how hard he tries, he fails to break through their complete disinterest. Until, that is – spoiler alert – the models turn the tables, and take him to an unlikely spot that finally fires their enthusiasm.

This is the second film Danny has made for Balenciaga and, And, despite all the possible distractions, Danny manages to keep a strong focus on the beautiful Balenciaga designs throughout.

See Tourists for yourself now

We managed to grab Danny for a few questions about the film, as he whizzed about his busy schedule.

What was the thinking behind the film?

I was told about the film long before we made it. Demna’s first collection had been shown that day and I was very excited to know I’d be able to make a film with it. I knew, like with the first film (and all my film work), that I didn’t want to make a cliché couture fashion ad type thing and I wanted to have fun with the actual film. It had to be visually very different to my previous film. I wrote something that meant we would be running around Paris tourist spots, going to a fairground, having an impromptu runway show on a ferry down the Seine. All in Balenciaga.

One thing I knew from the start was that I wanted the models out of their element. The idea came from me thinking ‘What if the Adams family went to Disneyland?’.

Why did you change direction a little from Une Incroyable Excuse, the previous film you made for Balenciaga and

I was inspired by the changes that the new artistic director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia, has made to the brand. I wanted it to have a completely different look to the previous film. This time is was all handheld and mostly exterior shots. I even changed the aspect ratio. Une Incroyable Excuse was filmed in anamorphic while Tourists was filmed in 4:3.

I chose tourist spots to base the film in a reality. In a sense subverting the idea of the sophistication of fashion.

Why Paris?

I love filming Paris. I’ve based many of my films there. This also might stem from the fact I have always admired William Klein, and Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? is one of my favourite films.

Is this likely to become a trilogy?

I have a close relationship with as they typically give me a lot of freedom. So who knows what’s next?

You wrote and directed this and other films. You also took photos during the shoot. You’re an illustrator and designer. What’s next for Danny Sangra?

I’m releasing my first feature film very soon (Goldbricks In Bloom) and so that is my current focus. Hopefully I can start the second feature project next year.

As long as I’m creating things that excite me and make me better, I’ll keep doing what I do, and who knows where it might take me?