I had stumbled upon a little known building of Novgorod Drama Theatre while working in Russia in 2006. Providence, curiosity, and passion enticed me to explore the origins of this architectural creation and to tell its story. I extensively photographed the building and interviewed people responsible for the theatre's survival.
Later I found its architect, Vladimir Somov, who filled in many of the missing details.The result of my research became a seven thousand-word essay, which reveals the process of personal discovery, talks at length about the history of the building, its original creator and his inspirations for designing such a monument.
The idea of making a documentary about the theatre came to me during my initial submersion into the building’s past and present. Clearly, the theatre was a stranger in its own land and I related to this unorthodox structure in a very personal way. From the first look at the theatre I knew the predicament the building was in and wanted to help it to survive. The Novgorod Spaceship documentary is my personal crusade to save the slowly disintegrating masterpiece and to tell the world about my homeland’s backwards mentality, once again flourishing under a wing of a new Russian capitalism.
A graduate of American Film Institute, Andrei Rozen co-directed the documentary Bums' Paradise (Golden Remi Award - Houston International
Film Festival and St. Ann Award - Moscow International Documentary Film Festival). Andrei edited Jesse's Gone, the Golden Spire award at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the IDA Student Achievement Award. He has directed commercials for Imagine Media UK, Ben Davis and Madam Figaro, and music videos for bands such as Neurosis, The Coup, Pussy Tourette, Foesum and Tokio.
From 2002 to 2007 Andrei lived in the city of his birth, Moscow where he worked as an assignment photographer for magazines such as Vogue, Harpers' Bazaar, L'Officiel and Swedish Elle.
Presently Andrei Rozen lives in Oakland, CA where he runs a commercial photography studio and works on his documentary projects.
Andrei Rozen is a recipient of Graham Foundation, Pacific Pioneer Fund and CEC Artslink grants.