The Daily Dreamer (2019)

Premise and plot

Aurora, The Daily Dreamer’s columnist, meets the legendary artist M to discuss the phenomenon of sleeping experience. Following the theory of the famous Soviet architect Konstantin Melnikov that lighting, sounds, and smells affect the quality of dreams, M. creates special “decorations” for his wealthy clients, stimulating the imagination during sleep.

The interview takes place at a fashion photoshoot for M’s new project, the Gold-themed Dream of Eternal Beauty

The obscure atmosphere and unearthly appearance of the models produce a hypnotic effect on Aurora, and the interview turns into a psychedelic journey to the border between the real and the illusory world.

Aurora interprets the cover girl’s figure as the symbol of High Priestess (played by Gigi Dia), one of the most powerful archetype figures.

Usually, when High Priestess appears in a tarot reading she indicates that now is the time to trust your instincts and go with your gut feeling, pay attention to your dreams, and signs the universe sends you.

This encounter becomes the turning point in Aurora’s life.

Visual Inspiration.

The short film is a “frontispiece” of a multidisciplinary project on the art and symbolism of dreams, created by the award-winning director Maria Staroselets.

The visuals are inspired by the renowned artist of the late 19th century Art Nouveau movement Gustav Klimt. The so-called “Golden Phase” of his art is defined by the golden backgrounds, (an homage to the religious paintings of the Renaissance) avant-garde geometrical shapes, and realistic figures of women and children in the state of deep sleep. Although the film was produced in 2019, the story is a zeitgeist of the 2020 lockdown, when most of humanity spent its time in slumber, looking for answers, symbols, and signs, waiting for the brighter future to come.

Festival run

  • Moscow Shorts Film Festival (2019) – Official selection
  • Marina del Rey Film Festival (2019) – Official selection
  • Golden State Film Festival (2020) – Official selection
  • Esoteric Film Festival (2020) – Finalist
  • LA Underground Film Forum (2020) – Honorable Mention
  • Hollywood New Directors (2020) – Honorable Mention
  • Esto Es Para Esto (2020) – Semi-Finalist
  • BLOW-UP International Arthouse Filmfest – Official selection


Written & Directed by Maria Staroselets
Director of Photography: Daniela Rodriguez Martinez
Editor: Camila Rizzo
Production Designer: Taiyo Nobata
Music Composer: Santiago Velarde
Produced by Alexey Staroselets & Maria Staroselets


Aurora – Crystal Friedman
M – Joseph Miller
High Priestess – Gigi Dia
M’s Assistant – Dylan Nadalin
Dreamers In Gold – Mercedes Schmidt, Ava Lalezarzadeh
Photographer – Sasha Tsay

IMDb page