Against the backdrop of the Cold War, The Encounter reveals intimate stories of four legendary female chess players from Georgia, who revolutionised women's chess across the globe and became Soviet icons of female emancipation. The film is both a rare look into the lives of Nona Gaprindashvili, Nana Alexandria, Maia Chiburdanidze and Nana Ioseliani, and a celebration of their lasting legacy.
‘’I am a woman who was born and grew up in the Soviet Republic of Georgia in the 1980s. Those were times of upheaval and historical transformation. The female chess players, who are in no respect weaker or less successful than men, were leading figures during my childhood. Chess was a symbol for women’s intellectual and personal freedom and empowerment. The Encounter is a chess film that does not focus on the technique of the sport so much as the metaphor behind it - the struggles on the road towards self-fulfilment and the revolt against a powerful male-dominated system. By revealing the lives of the almost-forgotten champions beyond their titles and awards, the film establishes an emotional connection, letting the audience think things through for themselves,” Tatia Skhirtladze told FNE.
It received a production grant of 18,346 EUR / 55,000 GEL from the Georgian National Film Center in 2018 and it was also supported by Linda Jensen from Silver Bullet with 28,000 EUR / 84,000 GEL, BKA with 108,650 EUR / 325,950 GEL, Film Industry Support Austria with 47,000 EUR / 141,000 GEL, Austrian public TV station ORF with 47,500 EUR / 142,500 GEL. FIlm Center Serbia with 23,000 EUR / 69,000 GEL, EWA Network - Women in FIlm Award with 4,000 EUR / 12,000 GEL and Eurimages with 72,000 EUR / 216,000 GEL. The budget is 396,588 EUR / 1,189,764 GEL.
Shooting is taking place in Tbilisi, Georgia. Filming began on 13 April 2019 in Rhodes (two days of shooting) and finished on May 11 in Tbilisi. Two days of shooting are also planned in Vienna.
The development of the project began in the spring of 2018 by 1991 Productions. Preparatory Filming took place on 23 September 2018 in Batumi, Georgia, at the World Chess Olympiad, where the women were guests of honour. The project will be completed by the end of 2019.
Berg Hammer Film (Austria)
Amour Fou Vienna (Austria)
1991 Productions (Georgia)
Playground Produkcija (Serbia)
Director: Tatia Skhirtladze
Co-director: Anna Khazaradze
Screenplay: Tatia Skhirtladze, Ina Ivanceanu
Director of Photography: Stebastian Thaler
Sound Recordist: Irakli Ivanishvili
Composer: Alexandra Vrebalov
Cast: Nona Gaprindashvili, Nana Alexandria, Maia Chiburdanidze, Nana Ioseliani
Producers: Karin Berghammer, Anexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Nino Chichua, Anna Khazaradze, Linda Jensen, Sarita Matijevic, Bady Minck