Karlovy Vary East of the West: The Other Bank

    The feature debut, Gagma Napiri/The Other Bank (www.theotherbank.info) from Georgian filmmaker George Ovashvili is the unsentimental yet metaphorical story of a young refugee from Abkhazia who takes a journey home to find that grass is no greener there.

    "A young refugee and his mother flee ethnic cleansing in the Georgian region of Abkhazia, leaving his father behind. After arriving in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, the boy encounters difficulties with his mother, and begins a lonely journey back to Abkhazia to find his father," says Ovashvili, who after completed his studies at the New York Film Academy at the Universal Studios in Hollywood (2006), returned home to make films.

    The Other Bank is a George Ovashvili production together with Sain Gabdullin and KINO company from Kazakhstan (/www.firmkino.kz). The crew is multicultural as well, bringing together people from Georgia, Russia, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Czech Republic, and Israel. The director contacted the South Korean editor Sun Min-kim, who previously worked with Kim Ki-duk, (a director Ovashvili admires) simply by sending him an email to an address found on the internet. The cinematography is handled by Shahriar Assadi, Bahman Ghobadi's DOP for Turtles Can Fly.

    The film premiered in February 2009 at the Berlinale, in Generation K+ section. It received the Grand Jury Prize of the New Directors Showcase Competition at Seattle, the Golden Lily and the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at GoEast Festival in Wiesbaden, and a Jury Special Mention at Belgrade IFF. The international sales company is the Russian Intercinema (/www.intercinema.ru) which has already sold the film to Greece. The film has not yet premiered in Georgia and does not yet have a local distributor. The 27,000 meters of film was shot just in location between 2007 and 2008. The budget was $750,000.

    The memorable 12-year-old nonprofessional Tedo Bekhauri, a crossed-eyed boy who pretends on the screen to be deaf in order to avoid critical situations was found, the director told FNE, "in a hospital where he was waiting for his mother."

    Production information

    George Ovashvili

    39, Gorgasali Str, app.54

    0114, Tbilisi, Georgia

    Phone: +995 32 723788

    Mobile: +995 99 530282


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    Sain Gabdullin

    KINO Production Company

    176 Al-Farabi Str.

    050023, Almaty, Kazakhstan

    Phone: +7 7272 93 2978

    +7 701 71 40 183


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    15 Druzhinnikovskaya Str.

    123242, Moscow, Russia
    Phone/Fax: +7 499 255 90 52
    Phone/Fax: +7 499 255 90 53


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    Last modified on 30-10-2009