by Vladan Petkovic
- Cineuropa met up with Georgia’s Producer on the Move, Tinatin Kajrishvili, of production outfit Gemini, to talk about the stories she tells and how she balances being a director and a producer
Georgia's Tinatin Kajrishvili (Gemini) came to prominence on the festival and arthouse circuit as the producer of Paradjanov [+see also:
film profile] and the writer-director of Brides [+see also:
interview: Tinatin Kajrishvili
film profile], one of the best-received Berlinale titles this year. She talks to Cineuropa about her plans and the current situation in Georgian and Caucasus cinema.
Cineuropa: After Brides, which was a very personal and human story, what kind of stories do you want to tell?
Tinatin Kajrishvili: It wasn't only mine; it was personal for 30,000 prisoners. That's why I chose to make it – I always choose the stories that really changed me. I've been thinking about making a film about my teenage years, about anarchy and anarchists, teenagers who grow up knowing no rules. Most of them died before they finished school, and those who survived are now decision makers in the country. This is what really touches me: something that I know from the inside. I can't make films if I don't truly feel every single character and I don't know their true motivations. I also love it when my characters feel guilty, and I have to defend them and find their truths.
How do you balance the roles of director and producer?
It's not difficult to do both if you know how to. It's a lot of work, of course, but it's the only solution for me. The combination of these two professions is perfect, and it balances out a lot of things for me.
What is your next project?
Now I am working on a project called One Way Ticket, which will tell the story of a young man in the world of emancipated women – in the world that women were keen to establish and in which they now have to face new problems and an imbalance in relations. It's a very recent world; we are only now observing these changes, and it seems very surreal in a patriarchal society like the Georgian one. It is a difficult transitional period for relationships, which are guided by economic or other factors. Men lost their power within families and in relationships, but women don't seem happy to take on the men's responsibilities. Women dreamed about this change, but when it happened, they faced new problems.
How do you see the current situation in Georgian and Caucasus cinema, both in the institutional and the market sense?
Things are getting better, but in Georgia we have only one fund with a very limited budget and the possibility of financing only a small number of feature films per year. The competition is very high, so a lot of promising projects never get completed. Regarding the market, we have very few cinemas and TV channels, and they don’t invest in production. We don’t have any distribution funds to facilitate the promotion of European arthouse films in Georgia, or to support the distribution of Georgian films in the country or abroad. There is a hope that, slowly, the National Film Centre financing will increase, and there will be more co-productions with Georgia. Unfortunately, the region is too weak to co-operate in co-production or distribution. We need to encourage co-production in the region and with outside partners, and to establish new funds, and encourage TV channels and distributors to start investing in film.
What do you expect from Producers on the Move in Cannes?
I expect to find partners for my project and to promote my country among film professionals, as I believe it has huge potential and is really film-friendly.