Andrew Arrakis was born in a small town in the Urals (Russia). He used to participate in staging performances and humorous sketches at school and university. After receiving a diploma of higher education, he was involved in organizing club-format events, booking artists. After some time, Andrew took up directing, shot several clips for local artists. Then he entered the Academy of Communications Wordshop for a course in creative video and directing. At the moment he is shooting video, writing scripts and producing projects in the field of advertising and cinema.

How did you get in touch with Anna given that she is the prima ballerina of the Russian state ballet?

Our producer Roman is a former ballet dancer. He is a friend of Anna and danced with her on the same stage for several years. The idea to shoot this video, or rather, some video with a ballerina came from him. And the creative idea of the film was mine.

We believe that the lines she speaks not only tell the story of herself once the pandemic started, but also of a lot of people related to performances of any other trade and also for the non-artistic-related workers who saw their projects cancelled. Would you agree to say that each one of us had to discover our true essence to keep on going against all odds during the pandemic time?

You absolutely got the point. When I wrote this text, I wrote it for Anna, based on her real situation, but involuntarily identified her remarks with myself. The fucking pandemic has touched each of us, and forced us to reconsider many things that seemed right before. I am extremely convinced that only true aspiration can move us forward, no money, no status, nothing external. Otherwise, it is violence against oneself. As for me, I decided everything for myself a long time ago and I listen only to the inner voice. To true aspiration.

Is the film a combination of footage from Anna’s previous performances and your own new shootings during pandemic times?

Oh sure. Anna provided us with her archival footage from her performances in Japan filmed on VHS.

What effect did you pursue by the combination of VHS, 16mm and Digital shooting formats?

As for VHS, as I said, this is the only recording format provided by Anna. I was suggested to use 16mm by my D.O.P. Yury Ostrozhinsky. I’m not a huge fan of film tape, to be honest, but I decided to try and combine it with digital. The idea is in the difference between the plasticity of a film tape image and a pure figure. I like to build a narrative on contrast, including on the contrast of formats, this gives additional dynamics. In addition, due to the specifics of the film tape, it gives distortion and marriage when shooting, which I use with pleasure during editing.