Project of the Week: Essere Amato (To Be Loved) by Nathalia Bas-Tzion

This weeks project we would like to spotlight is one by director Nathalia Bas-TzionEssere Amato , A short film that explores the horrific abandonment of a young mother.  


"Essere Amato investigates the fear that accompanies religious ideology and how it is reflected upon decision making or hindering as women"

-Nathalia Bas-Tzion

watch the teaser here:

connect, support, and share Essere Amato:

Her first short film A Death Story Called Girl, explores the nihilistic tendencies of an over indulgent and a seemingly angelic young cannbilist Bambi. 


What was your journey like into becoming a filmmaker?  Did you always want to make films and what did you do before making films?

Well the journey was LONG. My love for film and theater started at a very young age. I spent my childhood through my teens in Acting school and Theater and dance in Canada. My dream was to actually be an actress, I was obsessed with Film and Music. I received a scholarship to Vancouver Film School at 18 for the acting program and by the time I was 20 I realized I needed a break. So, I went into music and started a band called Chains Of Love. I toured and had a great run until about 29, and then retired my mic and went back into film. 

The last 3 years have been more about curating and working on other people’s projects until I grew tired of putting my time and money into people that weren’t actually able or ready to make films. I believe that whole process lead me to where I am at now. Choosing to believe in myself as a filmmaker and trusting that I had all of the faculties within myself as a human to do this.  

What was your inspiration behind "A Death Story Called Girl”?

This is a loaded question! A lot of the story for me is about white privilege. I recently moved to Calabasas from DTLA, and as a woman of color, the entitlement and socio-behavior was incredibly different out here. A Death Story Called Girl is directly inspired about that entitlement. A young white, beautiful, and seemingly angelic girl rejoicing in her butchery in suburbia. 

On an esoteric level, the story is rooted in isolation, hunger & satiation, ultra-violence and thought disorders.  

A relatable horror of sorts….             

What is your relationship to horror films and are there any in particular that inspire you?

I have a confused relationship with horror. I watched films like The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at such a young age that it psychologically impacted me in an adverse way. Growing up a staunch Catholic didn’t help either… So, for the majority of my life, I was the person that could not handle it AT ALL. The slightest visual would haunt me for days, sometimes weeks. 

Somewhere along the way, perhaps it was my conversion to Judaism that gave me so much freedom; my fear dissipated and I suddenly became obsessed with understanding horror. Films like Psycho & Black Sabbath became a technical & artistic marvel to me. I started to think about the horror’s in my life and thought processes within me that craved to be explored.

Horror films have a reputation for promoting violence against women and the male gaze, what are your thoughts on this and how do you explore these themes in your work?

I think films in general have a history of promoting violence against women. I’m personally not interested in promoting violence against women, but I am interested in telling the stories of our horrific experiences as women. Circumstances we’ve had to endure over the years as a gender.

What I’m most concerned with is how my experience is going to come through the work. Themes of abandonment, thought disorders, addiction and isolation have been very prominent for me in this life, so I’m hoping these will resonate not just with women but with the populace as a whole.

Tell us about your current project Essere Amato!?

Essere Amato (To Be Loved) is my sophomore effort and a very significant piece for me that is incredibly close to my heart. 

The film itself is about the horrific abandonment of a young and expecting mother. This story has been living within me for some time, as my mother was abandoned while pregnant with me and her mother abandoned while pregnant with her. For generations past, this was extremely common, and terribly horrific experience to undergo alone. 

The story is set in the late 50’s early 60’s and also explores Catholic iconography. Essere Amato investigates the fear that accompanies religious ideology and how it is reflected upon decision making or hindering as women.

I’m beyond excited about my cast & crew so far, including Dallas Jay Hunter , Julie Mintz, the award winning DP William Morrison and powerhouse mogul EP Erynn Desiree, just to mention a few….


Any advice for young up and coming filmmakers?

Never compromise your vision, and never put your dreams in someone else's hands.