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  • The BAFTA-winning director and passionate free diver tells HERMIONE EYRE about a life behind the lens and her natural affinity with the ocean

    Photographs by MATT HOLYOAK

    Is Martina Amati a mermaid? All signs are pointing that way: her body is long and lean; her wavy hair is beachy, though we meet in a park near her central London home; and her skin is golden, thanks to her life as a part-time free diver. Amati has been filmed swimming into Dean’s Blue Hole, an underwater cave in the Bahamas, pulsing elegantly downwards without any breathing equipment or flippers: at one with the water. “It’s my element,” she says simply, in a charismatic Italian accent.

    Amati grew up on the coast of northern Italy, where her father sailed

    Top by J.W.Anderson; pants by Proenza Schouler; sneakers by Common Projects


    PROFESSION: Filmmaker

    PERSONAL STYLE: When I’m in the water, an Orca wetsuit; on land, Céline pants with men’s Prada shoes for evening

    GO-TO DESIGNERS: Bella Freud and Phoebe Philo – they bring out female sensuality, without making it a cliché

    FAIL-SAFE PIECES: My Joseph jacket, Bella Freud sweaters and my vintage Shanghai Warrior sneakers from Paris

    BEAUTY GO-TOS: Issey Miyake perfume and Aveda haircare

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