TBILISI: Georgian director Nana Janelidze is starting preproduction on the Georgian/French drama Where is Liza Going (Georgian-Abkhazian diaries). The narrative of the film has the characteristics of a road film: road, speed, landscape, car, search for the meaning of life, transformation, regaining yourself, rebirth.
The title character of the film is a journalist, who worked as a war reporter during the Abkhazian war. Some 25 years after the war, during a live TV show hosted by Liza, a former Abkhaz fighter calls from Sokhumi. The fighter saved Liza’s life during the war and she thought that he died while trying to save her. The call and his words turn Liza’s life upside down, and she gets into her car and starts her journey across the country to drive to the other end of the Enguri Bridge – Abkhazia (which after the war has been occupied by Russia), to meet him with an important message of her own.
The film follows Liza as she proceeds on her long journey across Georgia, meeting different people and seeing how the country looks today, explored “on the move”, from the car racing along fast highway lanes and slow country roads.
The film is produced by the Georgian company N&N Ltd. The producers are Nana Janelidze, David Isakadze and Christophe Gougeon. The project is coproduced with and Magnet Film (Georgia) and Aqua Alta’s Christophe Gougeon (France). It was supported by the Georgian National Film Centre with 93,75 EUR / 300,000 GEL.
“The total budget is estimated at 1,225,000 EUR / 3,920,000 GEL. Work is currently underway with various international funds, to seek full funding for the project's budget. At the moment the film is a coproduction between Georgia and France, but active negotiations are going on with production companies in several countries,” David Isakadze told FNE.
Producer/director Nana Janelidze told FNE, "We have two layers of the story: past and present. Past: When we began to collect material about this war it was so painful that screening it using conventional means brought the risk of resulting in alienation, whereas the strength of the plot was its documentary nature. This essence should be conveyed using a symbolic language: graphic images of animation, which is at the same time naive, poetic, surrealistic, philosophical. Such images are in harmony with the nature of a diary, which holds confessions written on sheets of paper, using letters of different alphabets: Georgian, Abkhazian, Russian. Present: The present-day narrative takes place in the real space and at the real time. The protagonist of the film, Liza, travels in her car across the whole Georgia, from the East to the West. Liza meets different people during her journey. They tell her their own stories. This is today’s Georgia. Liza’s story is a long journey – a journey in the past and in the present, a journey through space and time, a spiritual journey.“
The project is in the pre-production stage. The principal shooting will begin in April 2020 in Georgia and will last until May. Post-production will last up to one year and is expected to be completed in 2021. The date and place of the premiere has not been announced.
Credits:Director: Nana JanelidzeScriptwriter: Nana Janelidze, Lia ToklikishviliDoP: Giorgi ShvelidzeProducers: Nana Janelidze, David Isakadze, Christophe GougeonExecutive producer: Alexander GabedavaCreative producer: Olivier CatheriArt designer: Gogi Mikeladze