EFP Producers on the Move 2013: Zaza Rusadze


    TBILISI: The young Georgian director and producer Zaza Rusadze (born in 1977) has plenty of projects in the pipeline. 

    He is not only promotiong his first feature, A Fold in My Blanket, which opened Berlin’s Panorama this year, but he is in postproduction with Time Forward, an archive footage compilation documentary about the Georgian TV propaganda in the past few decades. 

    He is in postproduction with Time Forward, an archive footage compilation documentary about the Georgian TV propaganda in the past few decades.

    He is also developing the prison drama Negative Numbers (together with the “incredibly talented young screenplay writer” Uta Beria), Ulayah Saba, “an exciting animation feature project” by the visual artist and musician Nika Machaidze, and A Bear over Our Heads, investigating “the national tendencies of the war between Abkhazian and Georgian people”.  He is also writing the script of Doll on a Music Box, a feature on a Georgian world champion in figure skating that he would also like to direct. 

    Born in 1977, Zaza Rusadze worked for the Georgian state television for several years before studying film directing at HFF Konrad Wolf in Potsdam, Germany. He received its degree in 2003 and founded the film production and distribution Company Zazarfilm in Tbilisi in 2007. His decision to become a producer was “more like an emergency solution,” he said. 

    “After almost 15 years in Germany I returned to Georgia following the dream of shooting the feature debut in my home country. A Fold in My Blanket was set as an international coproduction. Thus it was vitally important to have somebody onboard who could strongly push the film and fight for the project not only on local scale. At the time when I was about to start financing, I discovered that there were only handful creative producers in Georgia, who were able to operate internationally,” he said. Unsurprisingly, he told FNE, the biggest surprise he had about film production was “the shifting character of notion of risk”, and thus what it was most difficult was to balance “the needs of the project with the existing possibilities.” He calls it “a Norman Bates psychology” in dealing with what one needs and what one can afford, but “it’s a surprising revelation when and why you start risking and how then you begin to deal and come in terms with the consequences of your decisions,” he said. 

    A sort of dualism seems to rule also the relationship between the director and producer. When asked to give an advice to a young producer, Rusadze says that the producer should be aware that he really doesn’t want to be a director instead. “If in the bottom of your heart, if only just for a split of a second, you envy the director for the freedom manifested in her/his creativity, things will go wrong. If you can’t overcome this resentment, just become a director - you still have a choice.” In his opinion it’s essential for a new producer to understand “the needs, sensibility and rhythm of the creative process”. The producer is the one who make sure that the director has everything he needs. He “creates the necessary environment and keeps up the obligatory temperature, where creativity can flourish and the later film can prosper.”

    A question about his dream project (“dream is for me a sequential arrangement of images, ideas and emotions, not necessarily a story”) suites Zaza Rusadze perfectly. For someone cherishing Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad, the dream project would be “the film using authenticity as a foundation and its deconstruction along the way in a non-linear narrative structure.” But that dream is not easy to attain since “films like this are becoming impossible to produce nowadays; it’s not only the plot that is interesting but also its cinematographic feeling and visual richness.” 


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