Georgian-Estonian film nominated for Golden Globe
18 December, 2014
Georgian-Estonian film nominated for Golden Globe
Tangerines (Mandarinebi), a movie by Georgian director Zaza Urushadze, has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award. It is a joint Georgian-Estonian project. A large portion of funding was provided by the Estonian side, which reserved the right of nominating the movie for awards such as the Oscars and Golden Globes. Tangerines tells a tale of two soldiers from opposing sides of the Georgian-Abkhazian War accidentally finding themselves under one roof.
The main competitors of the movie in the “Best
Foreign Language Film” category are Pavel Pavlikovsky’s Ida and Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan. The nomination was a delightful event for the Georgian director, and he readily agreed to share his thoughts with Georgian Journal.

"This movie isn’t about the Abkhazian War. When you direct a movie, you should be sincere and make it about what troubles you and what matters to you. For me it is human relations."


– The movie has already accumulated 21 prizes and awards, but this is something completely different. Just the fact of entering the top five for Golden Globe is significant to the point of being barely believable. It was a very emotional moment for me. Imagine the movie you directed ending up listed among the world’s best. There aren’t many things better than that. My congratulations to the Georgian and Estonian movie industries – the latter is a hundred years old but none of its movies was ever nominated for the Golden Globe. The same is true for Georgian directors, as far as I The only exception is Nana Jorjadze, who was listed among Oscar nominees in 1997. My movie is represented by Estonia, since it provided most of the funding and the producer was Estonian. But I think that the success is evenly shared by both countries, since both the director and the screenwriter are Georgian. Both of them also happen to be me.

– What do you think is the reason for the film’s worldwide recognition?

– The topic of Abkhazia is naturally painful to me, as a Georgian. But the movie isn’t about the war or certain places or certain people. If it was, then it probably wouldn’t have found such recognition. I doubt that the sole topic of Abkhazia would’ve attracted much attention. No, the trick here is that similarly difficult events have unfolded almost everywhere, and many people can empathize with what they see in the movie. They identify it with their own experiences and troubles. This movie isn’t about the Abkhazian War. When you direct a movie, you should be sincere and make it about what troubles you and what matters to you. For me it is human relations. Abkhazia is a sore spot for us all, and this is why I chose it as a theme for the movie.

– What can you tell us about the actors?

– As a rule, all components of a movie matter, especially actors, and my choice of actors turned out to be completely justified. All four of them performed splendidly and received awards for their performances.

– You mentioned the topic of A
bkhazia being painful to you. What can you tell us about the treaty recently signed between Abkhazia and Russia?

– What happened was terrible, no doubt, but hardly surprising. This treaty is a completely logical continuation of Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia’s independence in 2008. Over all these years, we Georgians have
finally realized that Russia will be Russia and Kremlin’s politics do not change. They choose to remain aggressive. What good is there to be expected of Putin, anyway? Russia hasn’t done a single good thing for Georgia in 200 years and there is no incentive to think that it will ever change its imperialistic ways – regardless of how we behave.

– What are your plans for the future?

– I recently received an offer. My next movie will probably be made abroad, despite Georgia being more comfortable for me when it comes to directing. Creating Tangerines was a very pleasant experience. We got funding both from Georgia and from abroad. The overall budget wasn’t large, but it was enough. My next movie will be Georgian in every single way: Its production will be Georgian and I will deal with both direction and the script.
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