Georgian director Ana Kvichidze is producing her first feature documentary, the Georgian/French co-production “Heart, Don’t Be Afraid”. The film is supported by the Georgian National Film Center and the French CNC, reports Film New Europe.
Vardo lives alone and unlike the witches in fairy tales, she is a kind character. She was a popular “magician” years ago, but now her livelihood is mostly board money and food brought in by neighbors. Using her spells, the film examines the lives of everyone in the village and bears witness to their plight, from young women who struggle with reproduction to families who lose the last of their livelihoods.
“I fell in love with witchcraft because of my grandmother, who was a spellcaster in our village. People came to ask him for spells and healing. I inherited spells and recipes from her,” Ana Kvichidze told FNE. “I want to connect the style of the film with magical realism. The magic of Vardo is not visible, but it is felt through the visuals and the colors. I would also like to illustrate the various rituals practiced by her, which are both absurd and mystical.
The location of the film covers the Lechkhumi region. Filming began in November 2021. “About half of the film has already been shot and the production process is expected to be completed in October/November 2022. We have distributor candidates, but we have not made a final decision yet. this regard and we are open to all offers and interests (distributor, commercial agent or co-producer),” Kvichidze said.
The film is produced by Mariam Bitsadze and Ana Kvichidze via 17/07 Productions in Georgia and co-produced by Stéphane Jourdain via La Huit in France.
“Heart, Don’t Be Afraid” is the winner of the Georgian National Film Center Project Development Competition 2020 and Documentary Film Funding Competition 2021 (EUR 20,000/GEL 60,000). It is also supported by the French CNC to the tune of 40,000 euros.
The total budget is 100,000 euros/300,000 GEL.
“This is a special project for me. The idea and the narration are unique and I consider the involvement of the director as a major asset; she knows exactly what to film and how to achieve her goals as a documentary filmmaker. It is a wonderful story, which actually describes the harsh social life of the village and its inhabitants. Our main goal is to present this story to the public, who will draw their own conclusions,” Bitsadze told FNE.
Kvichidze studied feature film directing at Georgia State University’s Shota Rustaveli Department of Theater and Film. She has worked on movies and TV shows as a screenwriter, casting director and assistant director. His first short fiction film “Downpour” is inspired by folk tales and Georgian mythology. She has also directed two short documentaries, “Magic Recipes of Deniza” and “Madona and Upside-down Moon”, which are inspired by the charmers and legends of the mountains of Georgia.
Macedonian TV series ‘Clear Water’ in production
Director Jani Bojadzi is filming the thriller TV series ‘Clear Water’ (Bistra voda) at several locations in Skopje, North Macedonia. Filming began on June 2 and will continue until July 31. The 12-episode series is produced by Macedonian Cinnamon Media Factory in co-production with Macedonian Alfa TV.
“Clear Water” unravels the secret intrigues of business, crime and high politics, presented through the lens of two families and a 45-year-old conflict.
The project was started 12 years ago on an idea of the late Ljupcho Todorovski Upa, Moni Damevski, Jani Bojadzi and Vladimir Karpuzovski, and it has been developed and prepared over the past few years. Dejan Milosevski is the executive producer.
The main characters are played by Dejan Lilic, Jelena Zugic, Vasil Zafircev, Aleksandar Mikic, Robert Veljanovski and Zoran Ljutkov, and the cast consists of over 100 actors.
The series will be shot in more than 50 locations in Skopje, but also throughout the country.
“Clear Water” will begin airing in mid-September 2022 on Alfa TV.
The multinational television series “Estonia” is filming in Belgium
The drama television series “Estonia”, a co-production between Finland, Estonia, Belgium and Sweden, is filming in Belgium.
“Estonia” tells the story of the tragic events of September 28, 1994, when the MS Estonia ferry sank in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people. The series is budgeted at 13 million euros and should be broadcast in eight 45-minute episodes or four 90-minute episodes.
The showrunner is Miikko Oikonen from Finland, and Sweden’s Måns Månsson and Finland’s Juuso Syrjä are directing.
The series is produced by Fisher King Oy of Finland in co-production with Amrion of Estonia, Panache Productions of Belgium and Kärnfilm of Sweden. The producers are Tarja Ahava (Finland), Lina Ehrenpreis (Sweden) and Elina Litvinova (Estonia). Matti Halonen (Finland), Johannes Lassila (Finland), Martina Stöhr (Sweden), Petra Jönsson (Sweden), Riina Sildos (Estonia) and André Logie (Belgium) are the executive producers.
MTV/CMore and the national Scandinavian, Finnish and Belgian film funds support the project.
Courtesy of FNE
Estonia is heavily represented in the creative aspects of the series, with Andris Feldmanis and Livia Ulman involved as screenwriters, Jaanus Vahtra as costume designer, Kaire Hendrikson as makeup artist, Matis Mäesalu and Eva Maria Gramakovski as as set designers, as well as several actors such as Gert Raudsep, Priit Pius and Juhan Ulfsak in key roles.
Filming began in Belgium on May 30, 2022. Production is expected to continue until October 30, 2022 with locations in Belgium, Turkey, Estonia, Finland and Sweden. The Estonian parts will be shot from August 10 to September 9.
The German Beta Film takes care of the sales.
This article is published in partnership with the online news service Film New Europe, which covers news from the film and television industry across Central and Eastern Europe.
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