PRODUCTION: Soso Chkaidze’s TV Series/Feature Film Completed After 40 Years

    Shvidkaca by Soso Chkhaidze Shvidkaca by Soso Chkhaidze

    TBILISI: Georgian film director Soso Chkhaidze's TV series/feature film Shvidkaca is being completed posthumously almost 30 years after the director’s death, and more than 40 years after he began filming. The film, whose working title is the word used to describe folk ensembles, is in the final phase of post-production. Principal photography took place In Tbilisi, Guria villages, Moscow and Stockholm from 1979 to 1987. The producer is Chkhaidze's widow, Nana Zurabishvili.

    Shvidkaca tells about a young filmmaker’s quest to explore and discover unique Western Georgian / Gurian polyphonic songs. While researching his film project he follows an emotional path, meeting aging singers who are no less precious than the music itself. His family, including his musician grandfather, painter father, and sisters, and his friends support him along the way. When he meets a 103-year-old singer, he realises he has found a real treasure.

    "The director of the film Soso Chkhaidze died in 1992. Shvidkaca is one of his last films. He completed shooting the film, prepared a rough cut and had a partial sound edit. After the death of my husband I quit my job and mobilised all my efforts to finish this film with my own resources. At some point I could find some finances and could proceed with production. Finishing this film is vital not only for me but for Soso's audience and film crew. Shvidkaca is a film about a unique example of the Georgian folklore, its special polyphonic sound. Our ancestors have kept this treasure alive and without any recordings and writings transited it through generations. One of the qualities of the film is that it preserves important information about pre-war Georgia at the end of the 80’s, before the collapse of the Soviet Union. I would say the film is a creative document about city and village anthropology, atmosphere of that period, language, and people,” Zurabishvili told FNE.

    The lead roles are played by Ivane Chkhaidze, Esope Apshilava, Ladiko Erkomaishvili.

    The film is produced by Zurabishvili through NPO Soso Chkhaidze Cinema Foundation and supported by the Georgian National Film Center. It received a production grant of 58,631 EUR / 234,525 GEL from the Georgian National Film Center in 2020, while Zurabishvili received 20,000 EUR / 80,000 GEL in 2004.

    "We do not have documentation of the money spent on the film until 2004, although it is known that between 1979 and 1987 the film was funded by a film studio with about 1.2 m USD, and in 1993-1994 the one-person enterprise "Falestra", founded by me, raised tens of millions in coupons. The Ministry of Culture allocated 11,750 EUR / 47,000 GEL to the TV Film Studio for the film in 1996-1997 and 54,500 EUR / 218,000 GEL was donated to the fund during 2015-2020. The video version of the film was replaced by a digital version on the First Channel of Georgian Public Broadcasting in 2017," Zurabishvili told FNE.

    The digital 2K version of the film is currently being processed (recovery, color correction, clear dialogues, sound and noise recording). The film has two versions: a full-length feature film and a seven-hour series. The end date of the postproduction is 1 November 2021.

    Soso Chkhaidze (1937-1992) is the director of such films as Kolkheti (1967), Old Georgian Hymns (1970), The Fifteenth Spring (1971), Tushi the Shepherd (1974-1975). He won the Albert Schweizer Peace Medal, the three main prizes of the 30th Mannheim (GFR) International Film and Television Film Festival, the Shota Rustaveli State Prize, and the Prize of Honoured Art Worker of Georgia.

    Production Information:

    Shvidkaca by Soso ChkhaidzeNana Zurabishvili
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    NPO Soso Chkhaidze Cinema Foundation
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    Director: Soso Chkhaidze
    Scriptwriters: Amiran Chichinadze, Soso Chkhaidze
    DoP: Irakli Onoprishvili
    Art Director: Vakhtang Rurua
    Consultant: Anzor Erkomaishvili
    Cast: Ivane Chkhaidze, Esope Apshilava, Ladiko Erkomaishvili, Anzor Erkomaishvili, Luarsab Iashvili, Nino Zakariadze
    Teaser (before digitisation): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDnpX3mte58&feature=youtu.be