Andros In The City

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In pandemic-era Brooklyn, a dancer is spiralling into depression - until an unexpected encounter with a stranger brings new hope

Andros in the City is the second film in the pandemic trilogy, following Sincerely, Erik (winner of a Vimeo's best film of year award) by New York writer, director Naz Riahi. In it, a dancer, isolated in a Brooklyn brownstone, contends with the collapse of his industry. As he spirals into depression he finds himself in an unexpected conversation with a stranger, Erik. This film is about hope, performance and gentleness between men. 

Andros in the City was shot over 3 days at the end of summer 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Because of Covid 19 limitations the film was made with just the actors, director, DP and a PA on set. Continuing the minimal and lo-fi aesthetic of Sincerely, Erik, this film went further by utilizing single take shots of long conversations and a shoot schedule that unfolded as the day unfolded for the characters, depicting the passage of time. The film was also shot using a natural unretouched set, the home of Andros' real father, natural lighting and a minimal score, utilizing three interpretations of Reynaldo Hahn's La Barcheta, to further explore performance in its iterations. The final dance piece in the film was choreographed  (and performed) by Andros Zins-Browne to explore touch in an untouchable time, bringing the film full circle. 

Riahi "I'm very interested in exploring the unexpected ways in which men can relate to each other. Gentleness between men is something we don't often see in our culture, on screen or otherwise. I wanted to make a film that showed that in a radical way, at times making the viewer uncomfortable and at other times settling them into the beauty of such experience. It was an ambitious goal for a short film and I was nervous about whether we'd be able to achieve it, but when I saw the final cut I was nearly moved to tears. I've heard form a lot of men who have watched the film, that they felt the same, either crying or feeling as if they might.

With this film, I also really wanted to push and challenge the viewer's attention span. I love long, single takes of quiet moments in films, but I know it's a challenge to make this type of artistic work in today's landscape. Still, it was worth trying and it felt like an evolution for me as a filmmaker from the first to the second film. So, I had to be very mindful of pacing, I wanted the film itself to be like a dance or a piece of music, breathing, fast then slow, slow, then fast, then slow again and then to burst in the end, as it does.

Because Andros, the actor who plays the progratonist, is a professional dancer and choreographer, It was an opportunity for me to use that in this film, not just in the story but in a performance. It was also a thrill to work with someone who is so aware of his body and his movements in space. "

Writer and director: @nazriahi

DP: @alec_cohen  

PA: @ashley_brandt

Editor: @N0elpaul (that's a zero) 

Actors: @Androszb  and @more_erik

Music: @nick_hallett and @rickystinkfingers