FRESH production

Interview: Zaza Buadze

- A couple of words about yourself – what was your way to movie-making? Why have you chosen this profession?

Z.B.: I am a teller in nature, I like to tell stories. I have always been fond of writing – since childhood, and then at a moment I realized that I would rather make movies than novels out of my stories.

I have the first education – first I graduated from Tbilisi State University, Eastern Faculty, Department of Persian Language and Literature, however, at about the third academic year I realized I would not make science my profession. I enjoyed translating, but it was not enough. This is why I left for Moscow after graduation from the University and entered the Faculty of Direction within the Postgraduate Courses for Directors and Screenwriters, the workshop of S. Soloviov. I was lucky with the pedagogue – the great Sergei Soloviov.

- What do you enjoy more – writing scripts or directing?

Z.B.: Formally I do have a diploma of a film director. Though script writing is what I love most – it is my life. In fact, many people eventually come to film making from architecture, music or painting, and I came from literature, so the word was primary for me.

- Which of your works is the best or which do you like most?

Z.B.: Talking about script writing – there is one script that has not yet been realized. I wrote it for my friend – Georgian director Otar Shamatav, it is called «Caucasian Brown Bear» and it is a very complicated script.

There is another great work done with the movie making company «Fresh Production» and the German colleagues – «Murderer’s Love». The script is indeed very good. This script has gone through all cycle of MFI script workshop – the «Mediterranean Film Institute». The script was developed together with the famous tutors from the University of Columbia, the Genoese University, the London School and the Aristotle School of Athens. This is a priceless experience. Z.B.: And, of course, the «Umbrella Sky» – a joint project of the company «Fresh Production» and the Greek colleagues. I wrote this script for the Greek director Grigoris Karantinakis. And everybody thinks it is a very good script. Hopefully it will all work out. Recently, in late November this project was presented in the European Media, and this project is a priority among the Greek projects, and, I hope that in March the issue will be solved – we will get the first grant and the project will be launched. And this will be the joint project of the Greek company «Pan Entertainment» with the film making company «Fresh Production». We’ll see…

- Do you have any dream as a director?

Z.B.: Yes, of course, every director has a dream. There is a project which I probably may call my major director’s dream. There is a German novel «Ali and Nino». This novel was extremely popular in the thirties in Germany and all over Europe. Then it was forgotten. And later on seventies it was discovered again and it is still a super-best-seller. The author is a certain Kurban Said, and for a long time the only thing known about him was that it was his pseudonym. I discovered this wonderful novel 15 years ago and I really wanted to make a film based on it.  order to write a script I needed the complete translation – and at that time there was neither Russian nor Georgian translation – and I asked my friend, a very good Germanist, to translate this novel. The translation was pretty good and I showed it to the people in a publishing house, and eventually the Georgian translation was published. Now it is a bestseller in Georgia, a token novel. And recently, about a month and a half ago, a unique monument to the characters of the novel – Ali Shirvanshir and Nino Kipiani – appeared in Batumi on a new embankment. The monument’s author is Tamara Kvesitadze – an innovator sculptor very well known in the world. Many directors wanted to make a movie based on this novel. In Azerbaijan Rustam Ibragimbekov, the script author of the famous «Jaded with the Sun», wrote a script based on the novel «Ali and Nino».

This is my dream, which is called «The secret of Kurban Said, or the Sentimental Trip to Caucasus».

- How interested are you in the topic of “The Sun Circle”? What was your first impression of the film idea?

Z.B.: I loved the idea at once. We worked at the script for about one and a half months. There were unsolved issues, but we launched the project and while shooting were changing and adding something. The idea is wonderful and very interesting and it is very close to me.

- What is your attitude to the main character of the film?

Z.B.: I can answer very shortly with a quote. When Gustav Flober was asked what he had in common with Emma Bovari, the character of the novel «Miss Bovari», he answered with a famous phrase: «Miss Bovari is me». Naturally you can find a part of the author’s personality – script writer or director – in any character, it is the way it goes. When you create a person, make him say things and do something, you naturally give him/her a part of yourself.

- How do you understand the name of the film «The Sun Circle»?

Z.B.: We thought of the name for a very long time, we searched and then suddenly I came across a poem by Balmont, and there were lines there: «The crimson sun circle was gliding along the sunset arch». And there it was – a wonderful symbol. The sun, the circle, the circle of life and the universe. So I thank the wonderful classic Balmont for help.

- A couple of words about the cast – how did the work go, were there any misunderstandings during shooting or on the contrary it all went well? Was it hard or easy to work with actors?

Z.B.: I like to work with actors very much and if possible I try to spend very much time on such work. In television films, unfortunately, the system does not enable the script writes to meet actors before shooting. And this is very bad, well, not bad, but as to me this is absolutely unacceptable. Probably for me it is the work with actors that constitutes one of the biggest enjoyments of the film making and directing. The work of cameramen is definitely important – this is your eyes. The ideas of production designers are images that appeared in your mind, but as you are not a professional designer or artist, you cannot transform into the right form and structure. This is where the production designer helps, but as to actors – this is your work. There is a famous Georgian director Temur Babluani, and he has a son Gela Babluani – also a well-known director who shot the film «Thirteen» in France and its remake in the USA. So Temur Babluani makes amazing films – all the characters, who in real life are absolutely different, in films talk like Temur, walk and gesture like him. Sure, this may be a little too much, but to me this reflects the great work that the director does with the actors. Naturally, this is how it should be – this is your movie but you are not in the frame. These are your thoughts, your habits, even dreams – and this is primarily reflected in actors.

And as for misunderstandings with actors – I have never had these. I have never had any problems with actors.

- What in your opinion will attract the audience to the film «The Sun Circle»? What audience is it made for?

Z.B.: First of all this film is made for women. I am probably pretty bad in marketing, this is not my cup of tea, but I believe this film will be interesting for women who are on the wrong side of thirty. I actually think that the most interesting period in life of any man or woman is the so called middle age crisis. It is the most problematic period, but also the most intellectually full and rich. Sure, there is nothing more live than youth, but intellectual experience or reflections are incomparable. Taking into account that I know very well what the middle age crisis is for a man, and as I chose this profession, along with Gustav Flober I should repeat that our Niura – is me.

- And finally what would you like to wish the audience and visitors of out website?

Z.B.: Movies, movies and again – movies. I wish you to have many great films, interesting films, because we are so lucky to have it. And there are people who love movies and watch them. It is understood that we live now in a different time, in the epoch of market relations, and the films that we had in the Soviet Union – author’s films, now called art-house, and then there was no such definition, these films will never return. Many things will not return – Italian neorealism, French new wave, the films of the «furious» of England. Everything is different now – life is different, movies are different, we live and think in a different way. But interesting stories which touch our hearts and souls, make us think and feel will appear until the end of mankind. Thus my wish is for you all to have numerous interesting films.

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