PRODUCTION: Georgian Director Ana Kvichidze in Production with Georgian/French Doc Heart, Don’t Be Afraid

    Heart, Don’t Be Afraid by Ana Kvichidze Heart, Don’t Be Afraid by Ana Kvichidze credit: Avtandil Khorava

    TBILISI: Georgian director Ana Kvichidze is currently in production with her first long documentary, the Georgian/French coproduction Heart, Don’t Be Afraid. The film is supported by the Georgian National Film Center and the French CNC.

    Vardo lives alone and unlike the witches from the tales, she is a kind character. She was a popular "magician" years ago, but now her livelihood is mainly pension money and food brought by neighbours. With the help of her spells, the film comes across the whole village and witnesses their plight, from young women who have reproductive problems to families who are losing the last of their livelihood.

    “I fell in love with witchcraft because of my grandmother, who was a spellcaster in our village. People came for spells and healing to her. I inherited spells and recipes from her. I want to relate the style of the film to magical realism. The magic of Vardo is not visible, but it can be felt through the visuals and colours. I would also like to illustrate the various rituals performed by her, which are both absurd and mystical”, Ana Kvichidze told FNE.

    The location of the film covers the Lechkhumi region. The film has come a long way from the development stage to the production. Filming began in November 2021. "About half of the film has already been shot and the production process is planned to be completed in October-November 2022. We have distributor candidates, but we have not made the final decision in this regard and we are open to all offers and interest (distributor, sales agent or coproducer)", Kvichidze also said.

    The film is produced by Mariam Bitsadze and Ana Kvichidze through 17/07 Productions (Georgia) and coproduced by Stéphane Jourdain through La Huit production (France).

    Heart, Don’t Be Afraid is the winner of the Georgian National Film Center’s 2020 Project Development Competition and the 2021 Documentary Film Funding Competition (20,000 EUR / 60,000 GEL). It is also supported by the French CNC with 40,000 EUR.

    The total budget is 100,000 EUR / 300,000 GEL.

    “This is a special project for me. The idea and storytelling are unique and as a main asset I consider the involvement of the director, who knows exactly what to shoot and how to achieve her goals as a documentary filmmaker. This is a wonderful story, which actually describes the hard social life of the village and its inhabitants. Our main goal is to bring this story to the audience, who will come up with their own conclusions”, Mariam Bitsadze told FNE.

    Ana Kvichidze was born in 1993. She studied feature film directing at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film of the Georgia State University. She has worked on films and TV-shows as script supervisor, casting and assistant director. Her first short fiction film Downpour is inspired by Georgian folk and mythology. She has also directed two short documentaries: Magic Recipes of Deniza and Madona and Upside-down Moon, which is inspired by charmers and legends from the mountains of Georgia.

    Production Information:

    Heart Don't Be Afraid by Ana Kvichidze, credit: Avtandil KhoravaProducer:
    17/07 Production (Georgia)
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    La Huit production (France)

    Director: Ana Kvichidze
    Screenwriters: Ana Kvichidze, Avtandil Khorava
    DoP: Avtandil Khorava