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‘Chinese Puzzle’ lenser Braier tends to go with her gut

10 Cinematographers to Watch 2013: Natasha Braier

Natasha Braier, a Buenos Aires native, didn’t emerge from the womb ready to shoot, but it was close. She shot her first short at eight with a super 8 camera, studied dance and art, and went on to earn a degree in still photography.

“During that time I discovered and really understood what cinematography was and fell in love with it, as I found it was the perfect medium to integrate photography, music and movement,” reports Braier, who went to film school in Argentina and later moved to the U.K. to earn a masters degree in cinematography at the National Film and Television School.

She got her big break with her first feature, 2006’s “Glue,” directed by Alexis Dos Santos, “whom I had collaborated a lot with during film school,” she says. “It won in Rotterdam, toured the film festival circuit very successfully, and exposed me to a lot of up-and-coming directors who started calling me to shoot their films.”

Returning to Argentina, Braier shot “XXY,” which went on to win best film at Cannes’ Critics’ Week and multiple international awards.

But she’s probably best known for “The Milk of Sorrow,” the drama that won the Golden Bear in Berlin and a 2010 foreign-language Oscar nom. That success also led to “non-stop commercials for a few years — now I’m back at combining the two worlds, which is the best balance.”

Braier just finished “Chinese Puzzle” directed by Cedric Klapisch and is currently in Australia prepping “The Rover,” directed by David Michod (“Animal Kingdom”), starring Guy Pearce and Rob Pattinson.

“My approach is always very instinctive,” she states. “I have to feel things in my gut first, then I figure out how to achieve them technically. The main thing is the connection with the director. I can be excited about any kind of film as long as I connect with the script and the director.”

Favorite tool: “Easyrig, so I can rest my back when I’m doing lots of hand-held.”

Inspiration: “The main influences when I started were Jean-Yves Escoffier and his early work with Leos Carax, and Slawomir Idziak and his work with Krzysztof Kieslowski. Lynne Ramsay is a filmmaker I always revisit before shooting any movie and it was a dream to finally get to work with her last year for the film “Swimmer” we did together for the London Olympics.”

Representation: Rebecca Fayyad/Gregg Dallesandro at Sheldon Prosnit Agency.

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