PRODUCTION: Veit Helmer In Production with German/Georgian Coproduction Gondola

    Gondola by Veit Helmer Gondola by Veit Helmer

    TBILISI: German director/screenwriter Veit Helmer is in production with Gondola, a feature film he is currently shooting in the Georgian mountains. This German/Georgian coproduction is the second project by Helmer with Georgia’s Natura Film as a minority coproducer, after The Bra, which premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival in 2018.

    This love story between two cable car operators stars Georgian actresses Nini Soselia and Niara Chichinadze, alongside Zviad Papuashvili and Mathilde Irrmann.

    "In 1999 I attended the Tbilisi International Film Festival with my debut feature Tuvalu. During my visit to Georgia, the legendary art director Vaja Djalagania showed me several unique landscapes, which inspired me to shoot films in Georgia. I returned to teach film students in Tbilisi and shot with them the short film Georgian Summer in 2004, after which I made my feature film Absurdistan, shot with a Georgian crew in Azerbaijan and Georgia. The film premiered in Sundance and the DoP George Beridze earned several awards. This is my third project in Georgia", Veit Helmer told FNE.

    When The Bra premiered 2018 at the Batumi Film Festival, Tsiako Abesadze organised a trip for Helmer to see the unique cable cars in the mountains in western Georgia. This trip had the intended effect. Helmer fell in love with the amazing Georgian landscapes and the cable cars, engineering masterpieces, used by locals as public transport.

    The screenplay of Gondola was completed in March 2021 and within three months only several financiers from Germany and Georgia came on board.

    Veit Helmer Filmproduktion is producing in coproduction with Tsiako Abesadze through Natura Films. The project is supported by Eurimages, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Sky Deutschland, as well as Saarländischer Rundfunk, Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln and Bayerischer Rundfunk from the ARD network. The total budget of the project is about 1 m EUR, Helmer told FNE.

    The film is shot with a full Georgian crew. Some of the crew members, such as Zaza Tsomaia and art director Bacho Makharadze, already worked with Helmer on Absurdistan and The Bra, respectively, while others, such as the acclaimed DoP Goga Devdariani, are working with him for the first time.

    Shooting started last week and the 36 shooting days will wrap at the end of September 2021.

    “The shooting needed to start in August as the main cable car line in the film in Khulo started to renovate their beautiful red station with an ugly blue glass facade. I managed to finish the shooting of all scenes oustide the station on the morning the glass facade was erected. After completing the shooting in Khulo (Adjara), me and my team will move production to the ropeway in Kutaissi and Martvili”, Helmer also told FNE.

    Jip film & verleih will release the film in Germany in 2022.

    Production Information:

    Gondola by Veit HelmerProducer:
    Veit Helmer Filmproduktion (Germany)

    Natura Film (Georgia)
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    Director: Veit Helmer
    Scriptwriter: Veit Helmer
    DoP: Goga Devdariani
    Cast: Nini Soselia, Niara Chichinadze, Mathilde Irrmann, Zviad Papuashvili