Georgia, fiction, 100’, HD
Director: Nana Janelidze
Producer: Ekaterina Jojua
Production Company: N & N studio
Estimated Budget: 850.000 Euro
The main events of the film take place in Georgia in the late 90s, during the turbulent times of the post- Soviet Union collapse.
Nutsa, the main character of the film, a young woman (27-30), is a night anchor at a radio station. She tries to inspire the citizens of the city with her broadcasts. She takes the calls from listeners, who enlighten her about their troubles and joys.
At the same time, Nutsa collects and preserves her master’s entries and film fragments of his unfinished film, which are scattered in different places. She speaks about them to her audience during her radio shows; and thus breathes new life into the episodes of the unfinished film. While doing this, she creates a small paradise, which opposes the chaotic reality.
She also frequently meets people, who were close to her master - writers, actors, editors, etc. - in order to penetrate her master’s purpose. Most of these people do not pursue the careers they were once known for, but these conversations deal with grand subjects - life and death, love and creativity, the place of a man on earth, etc. These grand subjects, allows us, the viewers, to grasp the spiritual life of Georgia during those times.
One day, some incriminating information about the Abkhazian war and about a man, who is currently in power, slips through the air and men, working with this man, come to threaten Nutsa. In fear for her life, she escapes to Vienna thanks to her friends, where she meets her ex-lover: he had fled the Georgian chaos half a year earlier. Full of venom, jobless and lost, he begs Nutsa to stay in Vienna, but she refuses to accept it, as her 8 year-old daughter waits for her in Tbilisi along with her mother and her job.
She comes back, but soon the radio station is attacked by a group of criminal people who are working for the man in power. Nutsa’s militant friend saves her from random violence and she goes on creating the paradise on air, which opposes the chaotic reality.
The events of this script take place in Georgia during the second half of the 1990s. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country sank into chaos. A long period of poverty and challenges began. Anarchy, hunger, power cuts, war wounds – but also laughter, humour, the glory of human relations and high ideals, existed side by side in the former Soviet republic. My generation is now the one that remembers this period very vividly, since at the time, our children were too small and saw everything through the eyes of adolescents and our parents are now too old to remember. To me, that period – with all its diversity – should be shown in a feature film and that is the duty of my generation. Those days belong to the history, and that’s why I have to depict this epoch in my movie.
Nutsa, the main character of the film, is a late night anchor at the “Human Voice” radio station.
She presents a program on air at night, during which she reassures, amuses and encourages the inhabitants of the city.
She does this despite the chaos, the violence, the lack of electricity or other resources in the country. While doing this, she creates a small heaven, a heaven which opposes the chaotic reality. This is the only thing she can do to fight cynicism, lawlessness and the power cuts...
Nana Janelidze is the author of the script “Repentance”, which won the Jury Special Prize, FIPRESCI Prize and Ecumenical Church’s prize at Cannes in 1987. She is a holder of two “Nika” (Russian Film Academy) awards for the film “Repentance” and the film “Will there be a theater up there?!” (Best Foreign Film, 2011). Nana is a Laureate of both the Georgian State and Iakob Gogebashvili prizes for the film “Lullaby” (1994). She works also as a drama director at the theatre.
Will There Be A Theatre Up There?, doc, 2011 (director/writer/producer), The Knights of Georgian Chant, doc, 2012 (director), Christmas Gift, short, 2005 (director/writer), Imagery of the Dry Bridge, short, 2003 (director/writer/producer), Tengiz Abuladze - the tree of desire, doc, 2002 (director/writer), Lullaby, doc, 1994 (director/writer), Repentance, doc, 1986 (writer), The Family, doc, 1985 (director/writer)
Ekaterina Jojua has had a full career in media and communications, starting as a newspaper journalist, later as the Head of the Information Service of TV channel, and moving on to becoming the media relations advisor in the Administration of the President.
With the film director Nana Janelidze she has worked as a producer for the project about refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 6 short films founded on the real stories achieved great success, as there was no analogue in a Georgian broadcasting area.
PRODUCTION COMPANY CONTACTS
Address: Abuladze str. 4, Tbilisi 0162
Tel.: +995 577473122
Georgia, fiction, 90’, Digital (Red or Alexa)
Director: Keti Machavariani
Producer: Sopo Bazgadze
Production Company: Gogo Lab
Estimated Budget: 591.000 Euro
The story is about a woman, who, struggling to get back her children, discovers a new world. When violence and distorted traditions determine lives of individuals, sometimes a single hit can break through a solid wall.
The script describes the story of a family living in a modern Georgian village; at one glance, this is a typical family: representatives of three generations cohabiting in the same space. The head of the household, Otar, is a respected man, follower of the patriarchal traditions, a model father and grandfather. He demands obedience from his wife and daughter-in-law and consideration of public opinion.
Slight diversion from the rules of the household head results in ousting the daughter-in-law Maka from the family and from the village. Her husband Zura, having another woman in the city and being under the influence of his father and the family pseudo-norms, quite indifferently accepts casting out of the “beloved” wife. Maka is prohibited to have any contact with her children.
While seeking ways to regain her children, 30-year-old Maka finds herself in a totally unknown world. Once rejected for disobeying family traditions, Ia is a total opposite of Maka. She lives independently in a small provincial town and tries to convince Maka of her powers and rights. However, neither Ia, nor an unexpectedly appearing Maka’s new admirer - Mamuka - have any right relating Maka’s children. Only Maka and her children are able to cut the rope free and reunite.
Several years ago, while working on a television project, I had a chance to familiarize myself with the lives of several women who were victims of domestic violence. This led me to take a deeper interest in the issue and study the grounds and consequences of this violence. I discovered that the majority of victims had no idea about their rights – they did not know that they had the right to live independently and work; they did not know how to protect themselves from abusive husbands and how to return to their own children. Often after being ousted from the family they were not allowed to take their children and were deprived of the right to keep in contact with them. In many cases, abusive husbands and fathers-in-law were acting in the name of public opinion and group domestic violence was a result of a distorted form of a good Georgian tradition: cohabitation of family members of several generations.
Keti Machavariani graduated from Tbilisi State University's faculty of Art in 1995, and from the State University of Film and Theatre's faculty of Cinema – specializing in Film Direction 2002. She has directed several short films. Her first feature movie “Salt White” has premiered at Karlovy Vary within “East of West” competition. “Salt White” has been selected by more than 20 festivals. In 2011 the film was awarded the best debut film and for the best male performer in Cottbus at CIFF.
Salt White, feature-length fiction, 2012 (writer/director), Let’s Make a First Step, doc, 2011 (director), Glass (fragment from Shushis Namskhvrevi), short, 2003 (director), Mariami, short, 2003 (director), Digital Zoom, short, 2002 (director), Old Story With the New Faces, short, 2000 (director), The House, doc, 1999 (director), Tbilisi – Rotterdamn 24 hour, Without Comment, doc, 1999 (director)
Sopo Bazgadze graduated from the Art Academy, s’Hertogenbosch, Royal Academy of Arts Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with MA Degree in Fine Arts; Sotheby’s Institute, London, UK with MA Degree in Fine Arts. Since 2009 she has been working in film industry as a producer and production designer. In 2011, together with Ketevan Machavariani (director) she established a production Company: “Gogo Lab”. Sopo has participated in Mini-Eave training program organized by Georgian National Film Center, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2011. In 2011, her feature project “Tomorrow” (dir. Keti Machavariani) has been presented in Cottbus at Connecting Cottbus.
Let’s Make a First Step, doc, 2011 (producer), First Step Georgia, doc, 2011 (producer), Labor Rights, fiction, 2011 (producer),
PRODUCTION COMPANY CONTACTS
Address: 2 Lagidze, Tbilisi, Georgia, 0108
Tel.: +995 599 565859
Ukraine, fiction, 95', HDV
Director: Oleg Sentsov
Producer: Olga Zhurzhenko
Production Company: CryCinema
Estimated Budget: 800.000 Euro
«…Ever since humans were born, there have been flower’s inside of them. It’s their soul – pure and light. But life stains it with dust and mud, bends it and tramples on it – turning the flower into weed and the man – into shit… To withstand this I started protecting myself with armor, so no one and nothing could get inside of me. Year after year this armor was becoming thicker and thicker, to the extent that I couldn’t feel anything. But in our life it is not enough to protect – you’ve got to be able to attack, and you’ve got to have weapons for that. So I had this horn growing. It was becoming bigger and bigger, I was attacking more and more often, and, finally, I turned into… rhino».
A boy named Vova was growing in a common family. In the streets he was often offended, but loved at home. His mother used to work and his father was either boozing or imprisoned. Yet, Vova had a sister, but she used to live in her own world, and a brother, who didn’t live long: he was murdered. Vova was going in for sports and used to fight frequently. Nobody hurt him, and he was still loved. Then Vova became a gangster, and used to hurt people himself. In fact, he was respected for that. Then Vova got married and became a father. He had money, car, gun and enemies. But himself - Vova - loved nobody. He even stopped fighting. Loving to shoot, Vova used to shoot many people, and many people used to shoot at him, but he survived. Gradually, Vova lost everything and everyone he had around him, but the main thing was that he lost himself, and when he took a detached look at himself, he was in dismay: Vova turned into a monster. And he wished to change something…
«They say that rhino poor eyesight, but, considering his weight and speed – this is the problem of the neighborhood…» (folklore).
“Rhino” is a movie set in three time periods: past, present and future. The past is the story of the main character – Rhino – from his childhood to underground life in Germany, told chronologically. It is interrupted with four scenes of long conversation in the car with journalist Zhenya, who cooperates with Rhino in some business. This conversation, that is rather inconsequent, covering various subjects revealing the inner life of the main character, his true essence, occurs in the present time. Final scene in the town is in the future.
These three periods are different both in terms of color solution and in terms of rhythm. The longest past period, presented in warm colors, is more rhythmic, filled with developments, various scenes, with predominance of single-frame camera solutions and principle of uniqueness of each frame, with no repeats and cuts. Scene in the present take place in autumn, in the late rainy evening, will be more long-winded, intimate, presented in cold black and blue colors. Episode’s in the future take place in the late spring, in the early morning – the air is light, hazy, lots of greens, white clothing and light-yellow timber at village building site. In terms of camera work, the entire last episode will be made in a form of long single-frame drive through an entire village shot in the position next to the main character walking through it. The two last frames are based on the confrontment of close-up view of Rhino and distant view of a traveler, approaching the village, who looks like the main character. This gives uncertain feel of future unreality that, possibly, exists only in the mind of Rhino.
Oleg Sentsov was born in Simferopol, Ukraine on 13/07/1976. He studied at Kiev National Economic University from 1993 – 1998.
Gamer, feature-length fiction, 2011 (director), The Horn of a Bull, short, 2009 (director), A Perfect Day for Bananafish, short, 2008 (director)
Olga Zhurzhenko has been working as an independent producer since 2009. She has got several feature film projects in development, plus has finished 3 short films and a documentary. Since September 2010, Olga has been working for Ukrainian Production Studio LLC. In October 2011 Olga has also started a new studio - UkrKino LLC.
Gamer, feature-length fiction, 2011 (co-producer), What Happened Here, doc., 2011 (producer)
PRODUCTION COMPANY CONTACTS
Address: 95044, Ukraine, Simferopol, st. 1st Konnaya Army 37, apt.18
Tel.: +38 050 688 51 57
Turkey, fiction, 100’, HD
Director: Mizgin Müjde Arslan
Producer: Şirin Güven
Production Company: Jijo Film
Estimated Budget: 350.000 Euro
The story takes place at a boarding school on a Mardin plain, near the border of Iraq and Syria. In this region, there is tension from both the Gulf War and the conflict between Kurds and Turks. This boarding school is isolated from the outer world by barbed wires and is ruled by military laws and practices. Its residents are children; they wear the same coloured coats, and have the same short haircuts, due to precautions against the spread of lice and also punishing teachers.
In this boarding school, composed of barracks, students try to make busts in a course; during the course, they unintentionally break down the bust of Atatürk. The nose of the bust is broken and it falls in front of Zahir, who is a newcomer to the school and this course. The film tells the story of this group and what happens to them, after breaking the bust.
There is also love in the story. After exchanging letters, Serap and Zahir at last meet and sit side by side silently. The silence is interrupted by Serap, who asks: “Do you have lice?”, - and she looks for lice in Zahir’s hair. Serap asks Zahir: “What does our love look like?”, - and he responses: “A dove”. In return, Serap asks him to bring a dove.
A dove lover, a bust without a nose, the repeating violence of the teachers, the friendship of children, who are away from their homes and families, their tragicomic state of early maturity due to the ongoing war… Will Saddam drop a bomb; will the boarding students be able to take a leave of absence? Will the kids succeed to get out of the prison; will Zahir be able to bring a dove to Serap?
Bust tells a story of a world, in which intimate friendship, platonic love; childish dreams get beyond the limits of drought, isolation, fear and routine violence.
The concept of children is rather problematic in Turkey. There are institutions, procedures and actors behind this problem; such as primary schools, reformatories and boarding schools. Our film attempts to draw attention to the experiences of the boarding school children in one semester.
The story takes place in 1992. The important events and figures of that time such as the Gulf War, the conflict and tension between Kurdish and Turkish people, arabesque music, The Young and the Restless, Tutti Frutti show, water cuts and diseases are also present in the film. The story is narrated through the eyes of the children. The militarist atmosphere of the school is embodied in every aspect of life. The militarist discipline is visible from their uniforms, marches, dinners, prayers, education and sleeping. The punishment system is implemented on the children; when children break the bust, the infirmary of the school turns into a prison.
According to the director who studied at a boarding school, boarding schools mean two things. One of them are, without a doubt, the friendship and purity, which represent the glass as half full, whereas the half empty part of the glass symbolizes violence, fear and repression. As the audience will go through these, their journey will be fun and tragic at the same time.
Mizgin Müjde Arslan was born in 1981, in Mardin. She has worked as a reporter for a news agency. She received various national and international awards with her first short “The Last Game”. She is the author of the books “Rejisör Atıf Yılmaz”, “Kurdish Cinema”, and “Yeşim Ustaoğlu”. She is doing her PhD at Bahçeşehir University on Film and Media Studies. “I Flew, You Stayed” (2012) is her latest film, which was screened at İstanbul Film Festival.
I Flew, You Stayed, feature-length fiction, 2012 (director/co-producer), The Requiem, short, 2010 (co-director/co-writer), Arcihiving Home, doc, 2010 (co-director), Kamkasa Vit Vit, doc, 2010 (producer/scriptwriter/director), A Fatal Dress: Polygamy, doc, 2009 (producer/scriptwriter/director), The Seed, short, 2009 (producer/scriptwriter/director), The Last Game, short, 2006 (producer/writer/director)
PRODUCER’S BIOGRAPHY: (not more than 70 words)
Şirin Güven was born in 1982, in İstanbul. She started organizing film festivals and movie screenings, when she was in high school. She worked as a programmer in Alkazar Movie Theatre, which was a member of Eurimages. She worked as a jounalist for a national newspaper and wrote articles on culture and art. She got her master’s degree from the University of Amsterdam. She organized the 2nd annual Amsterdam Turkish Film Festival and the 8th annual Akbank Short Film Festival and produced two shorts “CapitalISTanbul” and “The Key”.
PRODUCER’S FILMOGRAPHY: (film, genre, length)
The Key, fiction, 2010 (co-producer/co-writer/co-director), CapitalISTanbul, doc, 2005 (executive producer)
PRODUCTION COMPANY CONTACTS
Address: Moda Caddesi No:176 D:7 Moda/Kadıköy Istanbul/TURKEY
Tel.: +90 536 417 97 02
Armenia/Belarus/Ukraine, 120’, 35 mm
Director: Alexander Kolbyshev
Producer: Armen Gasparyan
Production Company: Armen Gasparyan Film
Estimated Budget: 2.000.000 Euros
In September, 1939, Junior Lieutenant Mikhail Zubov enters Western Belarus together with Red Army units, but from the outset he runs into incredible things. People in Vilnius, where he is deployed, live incomparably better than people in Soviet Russia.
Gradually Zubov is getting used to a new life and even enjoys its benefits, but his bliss is darkened by an unfortunate affair. The girl, he reveals his heart to, robs him, and starts a new affair with an NKVD major.
The depressed lieutenant begins to drown his sorrows. A scene of panic, which he sees in the town one day, seems to him a drunken obsession. He cannot believe that Adolph Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. Mikhail rushes to the commandant’s office, but it turns out that the last train with Red Army soldiers had left Vilnius.
Mikhail tries to flee the city to catch up with retreating Red Army units, but soon realizes that he is in the German rear. He requests shelter from a Belarusian landowner, Mrs. Yuzefa. Mikhail stays in her estate helping her with work.
Eventually the lieutenant is beginning to realize that the Soviet propaganda shamelessly deceived the people. Mrs. Yuzefa introduces Mikhail to her neighbor farmer. Mikhail falls in love with his daughter.
On the eve of his engagement Zubov runs into the former NKVD major, who suggests that they set up a fake guerilla group to avoid prosecution as deserters after the end of the war. Zubov begins to realize that his plans to have a normal happy life are crumbling. On the eve of the liberation of Belarus by Soviet troops they carry out a punitive action and kill a gamekeeper and his family.
Securing an alibi, the major and junior lieutenant go to meet the advancing Soviet army units. Presenting evidence of their guerrilla activities, both get promoted. The major is appointed as head of NKVD in Vilnius, while Zubov becomes district police chief. In his new position Zubov goes to Mrs. Yuzefa’s estate and arrests all those who helped him during the war, including his bride.
The film “Liberator” is based on historical events. As a reward for his refusal to support the Poles in the war that began September 1, 1939, Stalin haggled from Hitler a sizeable bonus - half the territory of the neighboring country. Stalin annexed part of Western Belarus, the Baltic States and Western Ukraine. The secret deal between the dictators to partition Europe ended up in World War II.
Albert Camus wrote: “Any totalitarian regime is based on the morality of criminal world.” The post-war Germany chose the path of repentance for its crimes in 1939-45 and abandoned, once and for all, the policy of expansion that helped it become one of the most prosperous nations in Europe.
Unfortunately, Russia did not repent for the events of 1939; moreover it is still seeking to strengthen its influence among the former Soviet republics.
To me, the question of repentance for the crimes of the dictatorial regimes is getting increasingly personalized. I feel myself as a descendant of the main character of my next film – Junior Lieutenant Mikhail Zubov, a person who is easily manipulated by politicians who capitalize on a strong human instinct - fear.
Alexander Kolbyshev was born in 1960, in Ukraine. In 1987 he graduated from the actor training department of the Kiev State Institute of Theatrical Art. In 1987-1993 he worked as an actor for Brest Drama Theatre. In 1998 he graduated from the Belarusian Academy of Arts with a degree in feature film directing. At present he is a director of BelarusFilm National Film Studio.
Wolves, feature-length fiction, 2009 (writer/director), Operatives - Chronicles of Homicides Investigating Unit, fiction, 2006 (director), The Bear, fiction, 2002 (writer/director), Editorial Office, fiction, 2000 (writer/director), Willing to Live, short, 1998 (writer/director), The Pit, short, 1997 (writer/director), Black Box, short, 1996 (writer/director)
Armen Gasparyan was born in 1970 in Gyumri, Armenia. In 1992 he graduated from Kumairy Phoenix XXI Film Studio in Gyumri; in 1994 he graduated from the Russian State Institute of Cinematography. In 2008 received the Kunstler Haus Lukas scholarship in Germany. He has been an independent producer since 1994.
The Armenian Bread, doc, 2011 (director/writer/producer), Last November, feature-length fiction, 2009 (writer), My Brother The Episcope, doc, 2008 (director/writer/producer), Russian Name, doc, 2002 (director/writer/producer),Chronicle of the Retrorers, doc, 2001 (director/writer/producer), Territory of Christmas, doc, 2001 (director/writer/producer), Witnesses of Eclipse, doc, 1998 (director/writer/producer), Hermits of Aleksandropol, doc, 1996 (director/writer/producer), Liturgy, doc, 1995 (director/writer/producer)
PRODUCTION COMPANY CONTACTS
Address: 0012, 20/55, Komitas Avenue, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia
Ukraine, fiction, 110’, 35 mm
Director: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy
Producer: Igor Savychenko
Production Company: Pronto Film
Estimated Budget: 900.000 Euro
This story is inspired by many real events in the world of the so-called “deaf mafia”, which has been in existence since the times of the USSR on the territory of Eastern European countries, the former constituents of the USSR. This is an attempt to look into the dark side of the deaf-and-dumb world, which is governed either by the laws of a Gypsy camp, or by the laws of a pagan tribe, or by the laws of a Mafiosi group.
Everything begins with the school. Sergey is a deaf mute. To complete his high-school education he enters a special boarding school for deaf-and-dumb teenagers. This social institution is financed by the state and does not tone of the best institutions of its kind. The location on the outskirts of Kiev only further alienates the world of the boarders from society. Sergey has to not only integrate into the schooling process, but also into the complicated hierarchic system of the small community. The system reminds us of either a small tribe, or a Mafiosi faction structure headed by the so-called King, one of the undergraduates. He controls all income brought by illegal activities of practically each and every boarder.
Sergey tries hard to fit into the system. He becomes a guard for Shnyr, who is responsible for the whole sales system in the clan. He also learns skills of pick pocketing. Perhaps Sergey would have occupied a higher place in the hierarchy of the “parallel world” of the boarding school, but his love for Ania, his classmate, changes his social status and turns his life upside down. Ania, a prostitute working for King, does not reciprocate his feelings. She dreams of breaking away from this cruel world and escaping to Italy. This is a chance offered to her by King, who is involved with a sex-trafficking system organized by two influential adults from the so-called deaf mafia. Sergey becomes an obstacle, because he does not want his beloved to leave. Unwittingly, Sergey breaks all the unwritten laws of the tribe and rebels against the existing order and against King himself. The tribe won’t forgive him.
“The Tribe” is homage to silent movies. A film about deaf-and-dumb people, shot in the language of deaf-and-dumb people, without voice-over comments, without subtitles. This is a film without words to be understood by the viewers in any corner of the world.
I’ve already tried this way of narration in my 10-minute short movie “Deafness”, which premiered at the 60th Berlinale. This short has evidently contributed to the fact that my full feature project “The Tribe” was supported by Hubert Bals Fund of the Rotterdam IFF.
In order to make the story more truthful and authentic the film will be shot on the premises of deaf-and-dumb boarding schools, with the participation of real deaf-and-dumb actors.
It is difficult, of course, to avoid speaking characters completely. Therefore, we will be using various tricks to ensure their dialogue remains inaudible, for instance, shooting through windows, or from a distant vantage point or making the sounds of speech indistinct, overlapped with the noises of the city.
This is a film about very young people, who are capable of strong pure feelings: love, hatred, fury, and despair. One does not need words to express these emotions.
Born in Kiev in 1974 Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy graduated from the filmmaking department of the Kiev State Institute of Theatre and Arts. He has worked at film studios in Kiev and in St. Petersburg. His short films “Diagnosis” and “Deafness” were nominated for the “Golden Bear” (Berlinale). In 2010, he received a grant to develop his full-length feature film “The Tribe” from the Hubert Bals Fund of IFFR.
Deafness, short, 2010 (director), Diagnosis, short, 2009 (director), The Incident, short, 2006 (director), The Guard, short, 1995 (director)
Since 1999, Igor Savychenko, together with PRONTO FILM, has made projects for the Discovery channel, the History channel, Viasat, Teleclub, Star channel, Domashniy, Novy channel, Inter channel, TRK Ukraine, STB, M1, First Georgian channel, and the ARD/ZDF Olympic Games in Beijing 2008.
He has also been involved in some international feature film projects through his Ukrainian production studio. For example: “The Match” (2011 Russia/Ukraine) “Import/Export” (2007 Austria/France/Germany), “The Debt” (2007 – Israel), “Rusuli samkudhedi” (2007- Georgia), “The Second Front” (2005 – USA/Russia), “Contact” (2003 – Russia), “Barbarian: The Last Great Warrior King” (2003 – USA /Australia).
PRONTO FILM has experience shooting in the USA, Argentina, Chile, India, China, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Russia and of course in our native Ukraine.
PRODUCTION COMPANY CONTACTS
Address: 04070, 10A, Naberezhno-Khreschatytska street, office1. Kiev, Ukraine
Tel.: +380 97 367 91 39
THE WITNESSES OF HARDENBERG
Armenia, fiction, 100’, 35 mm
Director: Aram Shahbazyan
Producer: Ophelia Harutyunyan
Production Company: “ARMNA” LCC
Estimated Budget: 4.460.000 Euros
The film is about a love story between a German boy and a Jewish girl, which undergoes many ordeals. It is a time, when social-nationalists with their anti-Jewish ideologies have raised their head in Germany, which has been weakened after the First World War. At the same period Talaat Pasha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, was hiding in Germany. The day when the Weinbergs were going to meet their daughter Hava’s boyfriend Herbert, who was working in the central police station, a young Armenian student (Soghomon Tehlirian) with a point-blank shot kills Talaat Pasha on Hardenberg Street. Herbert does not make it to the Weinbergs for dinner being preoccupied with the shooting.
After the incident Herbert keeps talking to Hava about Soghomon all the time; their meetings start and end with stories about Soghomon. This starts to irritate Hava. Later, when Soghomon’s trial is to take place, it turns out that Hava will be the secretary of the court: she was working at the Third State Court at that time. Everything turns upside down, and now it’s Hava, who annoys Herbert with her stories about Soghomon and the tragedy of the Armenian nation. Herbert’s colleague and his ex-girlfriend take advantage of the situation and manage to hinder Herbert and Hava’s love psychologically by influencing Herbert.
At the end of the trial, Soghomon is vindicated, and that surprising decision angers Herbert even more: he has already accepted social-nationalist ideologies. He leaves Hava, abandoning her with the rejoicing Armenians, gathered at the courtyard of the Court and with Wilhelm, who was the witness of the whole story. Affected by the court’s decision proclaiming Soghomon not guilty and seeing the bustle in the courtyard, Hava sheds tears of joy. Soon though, step by step her joy turns into a wail. It is as though she instinctively realizes that years later the same fate would fall on the Jewish people. The movie is based on real stories and Soghomon Tehlirian’s memoires. The archival documents of Dr. Johannes Lepsius, which are kept in the archives of the Bundestag, are also used.
Hava believes that life is warm and colorful, Herbert thinks so too. Life is a romance. The reality is like a fairy tale. Love soars in the air and embraces them.
This story is filled with more interesting colors by the character of a newspaper boy Wilhelm, who connects the events and incidents happening in the country with the drama of our two main characters. From the first minutes of the film these three characters must become very appealing for the audience.
We meet the Armenian avenger Soghomon in an episode and very indirectly in the first half of the film; and just in that one episode we try to point out his anxious and tense look. This character must not reflect any stroke of becoming a hero; he is very wise and extremely balanced.
The story is told without a moment of respite, the inner dynamics of the episodes must not allow the audience to analyze and think.
The film must be monochrome, split in two parts. The warm color gamut is the past’s events and the romantic love story, which is replaced by cold gamut, which brings fascist Germany’s deplorable present.
Aram Shahbazyan was born in 1971. He studied at Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema and at “La Femis” National Cinematography School of France. He worked as a director at different TV companies. He twice got “Best Director” award at “I AM” International Film Festival of Young Filmmakers in Armenia.
His resent work is a feature film “Chnchik”, which is in the post-production. His current project “Moskvich, My Love” is in the production stage.
Yerevan Ragtime, short, 2008 (director), Don’t Be Afraid, feature-length fiction, 2007 (director), Apo Called, short, 2006 (director), Voices from the Inside, doc, 2004 (director), Vordan Karmir, doc, 2002 (director), Repentance, doc, 2001 (director), Mjuron, doc, 2001 (director), Initiation, doc, 2001 (director), Baptism, doc, 2001 (director), Javakhq, A Forgotten Homeland, doc, 2001 (director), Aruch, doc, 2000 (director), Hovhanavank, doc, 2000 (director), Sahmosavank, doc, 2000 (director), Tegher, doc, 2000 (director), Kvash, doc, 2000 (director), Prayer of Caves, doc, 2000 (director), Mughni St. George, doc, 2000 (director), Roads, doc, 2000 (director), Inside & Outside, doc, 1999 (director), The Dogs, doc, 1998 (director), Lavash, doc, 1997 (director), Report During Supper, doc, 1995 (director)
Ophelia Harutyunyan studied law as her first education at Yerevan State University and at Stockholm University. After gaining a law degree, she has started pursuing her career in filmmaking. She has been working as General Producer’s assistant at “ILLUSION” Production Company and since 2011 she has been working as the Second Producer, Production manager at CivilNet.TV Internet TV. She will also be studying producing at Columbia University in NYC starting this fall.
PRODUCTION COMPANY CONTACTS
Address: Leningradyan 16
THORNS AND ROSES
Moldova, fiction, 90’, Digital Intermediate (4K)
Directors: Olga Kazak, Alla Limanskaya
Producer: Veaceslav Cebotari
Production Company: DIAMETRAL-FILM S.R.L.
Estimated Budget: 60.000 Euro
In a small Moldavian village, nothing happens: most people have left, going abroad to earn money. Suddenly, in the center of the village, a red Jeep appears driven by Silva (Silva may be out of all the CIS states). She had met a resident of this village, Kuko Kukaren while working in Egypt. Silva wanted to marry him, but was told by Kuko that it would be possible only through his dead body.
And then taking the example of women members of parliament, who were married to the monument, decides to go to Kuko's funeral in his native village and marry him posthumously. Silva brings the mummy of Kuko’s allegedly burnt body with her, negotiates with a local carpenter for making coffins, and asks the local priest to marry her to the deceased body of Kuko.
Everything is ready for the wedding with the dead man, but suddenly Silva’s plans are broken - she accidentally witnesses a birth by a pregnant woman. Seeing the birth of a human, she realizes the falsity of her intentions. She wants to escape from the village and the house of her bridegroom. But Kuko, who comes to his father's home, invites her to marry him. They remain in the native land of Kuko and give birth to children.
“Thorns And Roses” is a life story of people, who lost themselves and their roots. In the beginning the characters resemble vivid caricatures, but as the plot goes on, they assume integrity and profoundness. The heroes, inhabitants of a little Moldavian village, seek its little human happiness against the background of the tough state transformation. But in defiance of this, having overcome ironic interwoven fates, at last, they find simple human happiness: family, children and the essence of life. Their amusing stories make us laugh, but this laugh is combined with the touching empathy to the heroes. The dramatic is organically harmonized with the comical, and the comical displays in the organic twine of the dramatic.
Olga Kazak was born on April 15, 1976 in Moldova. In 2008 she graduated from the Scriptwriting Faculty of the Russian State University of Cinematography named after S. A. Gerasimov, Moscow, and leading film school in Russia.
Alla Limanskaya was born on September 23, 1979 in Moldova. In 2008 she graduated from the Feature Film Directing Faculty of the Russian State University of Cinematography named after S. A. Gerasimov, Moscow.
Soro-Lume, short, 2011 (director/producer)
Soro-Lume, short, 2011 (director/producer), Reality, short, 2007 (director/producer/writer)
Veaceslav Cebotari is the owner of “Diametral Film”. He is a Director of Photography and Producer at “Diametral Film”. From 1992-1996 he studied at Universitatea de Arta Teatrala si Cinematografica 'I.L. Caragiale' din Bucuresti, as a Cinematographer.
Soro-Lume, short, 2011 (director/producer), Ice Cream, short, 2009 (producer), Nunta in Basarabia, short, 2008 (producer), Petrecerea, short, 2008 (producer), Switch, short, 2008 (producer), San Sanych, short, 2007 (producer), 4 Ages of Love, feature-length fiction, 2007 (producer), Pam Pararam, short, 2006 (producer), Fiara Tandra, short, 2006 (producer), Gripa, short, 2005 (producer), Rabda inima, short, 2005 (producer), Unde dai, short, 2005 (producer), The Gift, short, 2004 (producer), Barons'Hill, short, 2003 (producer)
PRODUCTION COMPANY CONTACTS
Address: 78, Bernardazzi str,
Chisinau, R. Moldova MD - 2009
Tel: +373 22 24-31-77.
Mob: +373 6 913902
WALKING THE TIGHTROPE
Armenia/France, fiction 95’, HD
Director: Levon Minasian
Producers: Vardan Hovhannisyan, Inna Sahakyan, Astghik Sayadyan
Production Company: Bars Media Films
Estimated Budget: 758.600 Euro
In their rusty old van, Arsham, 15, and Vazken, his adoptive father and grouchy old master, travel the roads of mountainous Armenia to offer villagers tightrope dancing performances. This ancient art no longer attracts people’s attention and the little money they earn hardly pays for their survival.
Vazken blames the lack of attention on his pupil’s laziness, but Arsham is convinced that he can impress the crowds if he dances on a higher rope. Vazken, however, will not let him.
Arsham finds an escape from Vazken’s continual castigations in his dreams of becoming a famous tightrope dancer in the Moscow Circus. He also dreams of getting the attention of his secret love, Lousiné, his neighbors’ daughter and a juggler at the circus school.
Sero, Vazken’s sole competitor, informs Arsham that his old master is nothing but a fraud, who exploits him. Through Sero, Arsham understands that Vazken will never let him go to the circus school he so wishes to attend and that all his talks about a bright future in Armenia are only lies to keep him under his thumb.
Arsham runs away from his old master. He looks for his mother, who abandoned him at an orphanage as a young child and tries to persuade the circus director to take him in, but his ventures lead him nowhere.
In his desperate efforts to escape his fate, Arsham comes to understand that Vazken, who is facing the death of his art, is alone and that he cannot abandon him. Their destinies are closely tied and they cannot survive without each other. On his journey; however, he has also gained Loussiné’s attention…
This project began in 2010, when Bars Media completed the documentary “The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia.” The film tells the story of an old tightrope dancer and his adopted son, who travel to villages around Armenia to dance on the tightrope for small crowds that are slowly disappearing.
With this film, I will explore the complex relationship between the adoptive father and the orphan son. The father is devoted to the boy, but he is also eager to gain recognition for his art. The son wants to earn the love of the father, but feels used and exploited. During the filming of the documentary, the old master passed away. I want to give the old man a chance to tell the boy that he loves him more than he loves the art and I want to give the boy a chance to hear and understand the old man and to forgive the past and overcome his own pains.
“Walking the Tightrope” puts a universal story into a local and unique context. The struggles between a father and his son, doubts about the love of others, and the wish to carry on older traditions into the future play out in the context of Armenia.
Primary Talent: Armen Djigarkhanian
Born in Gumri, Armenia, Levon Minasian studied film at the University of Paris-8 (France). In 1996, he received his Master’s Diploma with distinction with the congratulations of the jury. He is an awarded scriptwriter and has also directed several short films, produced mainly by French production companies. His last short comedy “The Piano” has participated at more than 60 festivals worldwide, received 22 awards and mentions.
The Piano, short, 2011 (director), Dreams of Elsewhere, musical autofiction, 2003 (director), Overseas Lovers, fiction, 2000 (director), Terra Emota, film poem, 1999 (director), Lux Aeterna, film poema, 1999 (director), At the Beginning of the Spring Time, fiction, 1997 (director)
Vardan Hovhannisyan started as a front-line filmmaker and covered hotspots throughout the USSR. In 1993 he founded Bars Media, one of the first independent film companies in Armenia. He has produced the multi-award winning documentaries: “A Story Of People In War And Peace” (co-produced with BBC, PBS, ARTE, WDR) and “The Last Tightrope Dancer In Armenia” (NHK, PBS, SVT). Currently he is developing documentaries in Africa and Asia.
Donkeymentary, doc, 2012 (producer), The Last Tightrope Dancer In Armenia, doc (producer), A Story Of People In War And Peace, doc, 2007 (director/producer), Prison Art, doc, 1998 (director), Non-Stop doc-poem, 1994 (director), To Be And Never Forget, doc, 1994 (director), Winter Melody, doc poem, 1994 (director)
PRODUCTION COMPANY CONTACTS
Address: 20 Sepuh Street, Yerevan 0028, Armenia
Tel.: +37410 226733