Amaal: Can you tell me more about the process of framing a feeling, and how it’s evolved for you?
Dawit: It’s definitely an abstract task, and doesn’t come easy. Looking back, I first had to learn how to take a proper image – good composition, colour palette, lighting, so on. After I felt comfortable with my skills, I started focusing on the subjects and emotions I wanted to show. I realised that, in order to make a good photograph, I had to get comfortable with my subjects, and for my subjects to get comfortable with me.
Eventually I adopted that technique to my directing work. Being comfortable with both the technical side of filmmaking as well as the subject made it easier to be free with my thoughts, and express my ideas to people.
The one challenge that arose all the time, though, was finding a way to turn a still image into a moving image. The main thing that helped overcome that was watching an intensive amount of films; then the inspiration from everyday life helped fill in the gaps.