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”A free woman is considered dangerous and scary”

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Ana Urushadze • Director

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- LOCARNO 2017: We chatted to Georgian filmmaker Ana Urushadze, who participates with her debut feature film Scary Mother at the Filmmakers of the Present section

Ana Urushadze • Director
(© SFF / Obala Art Centar)

Talented Georgian filmmaker Ana Urushadze participates with her debut feature film Scary Mother [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ana Urushadze
film profile
]
in the Filmmakers of the Present section at the 70th Locarno Festival. We had a chance to talk to her about some of the elements of her inspiration, the role of women in her society and the Georgian cinema wave that is ever present at film festivals.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Cineuropa: You are dealing with a harsh and sensitive subject, what was the source of your inspiration?
Ana Urushadze
: It may sound weird, but when I’m writing, I never ask myself anything. I just follow the flow and my thoughts as I put them down on paper. It’s only afterwards, when the story settles down, that I understand the original source of my inspiration and why the story followed the path that is has. In Scary Mother, the source of inspiration perhaps came from members of my family, as is usually the case. My mother had an on and off relationship with writing, and my sister is a writer working on her first novel. My grandmother also wanted to be a director but then she decided to follow a different profession. So, the main theme of self-realisation was already around me, affecting me.

Your father, Zaza Urushadze, is an established director and the father figure in your film is quite strong. Would it be fair to assume that your story has some autobiographical elements?
As I previously said, there was some inspiration from my family, but of course nothing to do with the father character or me personally. I don’t see anything related to me in this aspect of the script, anything at all. Except for the urge to do your own favourite thing, which comes from the female members of my family. I don’t see myself at all in my protagonist, I can understand though why there might be some speculation, as real stories always seem more intriguing.

What do you think about the filmmakers that form the new wave of Georgian cinema?
I think that this group is working, is alive and we are developing, also many people are into that, including many friends of mine. Of course, we already know each other pretty well so I can’t be objective but I believe that there are many talented people in my generation. Everyone is working on something constantly and it’s encouraging to be so active. Of course, we do collaborate with colleagues that belong to different generations; there are no limits among us. We all belong to the same wave.

Georgian society is considered conservative for women, although we usually follow female filmmakers and producers from Georgia, do you think that’s at all contradictory?
There is no contradiction at all, these restrictions force women into action so it’s totally natural. In most cases, we are progressing but it’s quite a slow process. The percentage of restricted women is quite high, mostly in their family environment. If a woman is free and does what she wants to do, she is considered dangerous and scary. The situation is improving but we should act more quickly.

How difficult was it for you to create your first film in Georgia?

If you are doing what you love, you don’t concentrate on the practical problems that might arise. I don’t remember any of them. But there must have been as we were short on time and money, two things that are quite problematic, but I didn’t really concentrate on the problems. I can honestly say that last year was absolute heaven for me and I enjoyed every minute of it. The cast was also amazing; Nato Murvanidze is so unique. I was very lucky to work with my crew and I have to thank them for helping me make this film.

Do you have any upcoming films on the cards or is it too soon?
I’m trying to write a new script where I can somehow “see” the main character and the environment but nothing else is on the cards yet. It’s like someone injected me with the idea and I’m waiting, it’s now sitting on the sidelines and I need pay it regular visits in order to develop it.

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