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CIRCLE 2018 Participants: Meet Shorena Tevzadze - "In the Sweltering Sun"

Shorena Tevzadze studied at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgian State University (MA), the Ilia State University (MA) and the University of Southern California. In 2016, she co-founded DIAFILM productions.

1. Introduce yourself please briefly and your project.

I'm an emerging Georgian filmmaker, working on my second full length documentary IN THE SWELTERING SUN. The project reflects the absurdity of the masculine and conservative community in Georgia. The main character, a 13-year-old teenager, rebels against the summer camp order and the contradiction between him and his trainer reveals the hidden corners of a strange, surrealistic castle where martial arts school teenagers spend summer time.

2. What was the biggest challenge in making this film?

I went through a lot of challenges and I am still trying to achieve the goal and finish this film. First of all, it's really challenging start when you come from a country like Georgia, where the film industry is not so strong in terms of business and we (the Georgian filmmakers) have just one source (Georgian National Film Center) for the production of films and The Film Center has a really very small/limited budget. In this specific project, one of the biggest challenges was also working with young (teenage) protagonists. I was trying to keep the balance between reality and the magic language of cinema, not to break the ethical norms and at the same time not to dig deep inside the protagonist's mind.

3. Can you compare your experience at CIRCLE with other similar platforms that you have been part of?

In comparison with other workshops, the most positive thing that I noticed about the woman circle was that the workshop representatives (especially Biljana) do their best to promote our projects even out of the workshop frames. I have never met this kind of attitude towards the participants, despite the fact that it's quite long list of workshops and training where I took part during my career.

4. What were the most important benefits from being part of CIRCLE project?

Besides the many useful advice and feedback, I think I made many important contacts and also, I have a feeling I joined a family of supportive people.

5. What advice do you have for other (female) directors?

I would say that filmmaking is one of the best professions for women. It contains both emotional, intuitive and creative work and I think that the world needs more female storytellers, because we can tell the stories from a very sensitive and accentuating perspective.

6. Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Chantal Akerman, Liliana Cavani, Agnes Varda and one old Georgian filmmaker, whose name is not popular even in Georgia – Nana Mchedlidze.

I don't know why I name these people, maybe because I understand them very well and I think that they are/were fascinating personalities as artists and as individuals as well.

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