“I think the great film is the one that makes you a better person.” – George Varsimashvili

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Exclusive Interview with George Varsimashvili- Writer/Director

George Varsimashvili is a Georgian writer and director born in Tbilisi in 1986. After graduating university in Georgia, he went to study film making in Paris 8 university (bachelor’s and master’s degree) and ESRA Paris film school. During his studies he made a dozen of short films, which traveled on different film festivals. He shot his graduation feature film “Particulier a Particulier” in 2012. Although film was only a graduation movie, it was still released in film theatres in France, Russia and Georgia. In 2016 he made a film for the Georgian public television “Dzmebi Qalaqshi” and following year directed a short film “Schody” in Poland. In 2019 he was invited by Bela Tarr to direct a short film in Switzerland, which was premiered at Locarno film festival in 2019. In 2020 George became an artist for the light equipment manufacturer Dedolight.

NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?

First of all, thank your for this interview. Currently I’m working on a short film script called “Another World”. It’s a fairy tale about 5 years old kid, who discovers a telephone info center and calls them to ask various questions. Surprisingly it’s the same lady who answers. The story is set in the 90’s in Georgia (country) and that coincidence could have happened. Throughout the film, we grow up with this child. I’m delighted that the script was selected for the NY ISC, it’s the first recognition for this story.

NY Glam: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?

I think the great film is the one that makes you a better person. It has to touch the audience, because we work in the industry of emotions. That should be the goal.

NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?

I would say that perfection is in imperfection. The interesting character is the one, who has as many defaults as qualities. All of us have our difficult side and more the character resembles to normal human, more we get attracted. I don’t believe in the characters, who are absolutely perfect supermen. The great example is Achilles from Greek mythology, he was the strongest person, but had a weakness. 

NY Glam: How important is for you being a finalist at International Screenwriting Competition –ISC?

I still don’t believe that I’m there. When I was sending the script, I thought no one would read it. It’s New York, thousand projects are sent there. You see, they have read the script and selected it, so we should never give up. 

NY Glam: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?

It’s a very difficult question. The first that comes in my mind is the very first project. Otar Iosseliani was directing a feature film “Chantrapas” and I worked on playback. He’s the legend of Georgian and French cinema and in terms of education, it was probably my best experience. The crew were all legends, people who made films in the 60’s and 70’s. On second place, I would put a workshop in Switzerland, which was conducted by Bela Tarr, another legend of European cinema. On the third place, I will put all the short films I worked on at the film school. I think these are the best and the most memorable years for every person, who have experienced the film school.  

NY Glam: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?

I’ve just published a novel called “Enemies of the People”, which is based on the script I wrote before. It was too expensive to shoot, so I transformed the story into a novel. I’ve also directed several films and I like photography. By the way, some of my pictures are exhibited at NY Nil Gallery right now.

NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?

First, they should have something to say. Why are you making this movie, what do you want to tell us? Then, they should love their projects so much, that be ready to die for them. I only realized after the film school; how hard it was to make something in this industry. My advice would be to ask consultancy to the script mentors, apply for the workshops and pitching sessions, be patient and never give up. On this particular short story, five script consultants helped me, so don’t underestimate professionals, who can make your script better.

NY Glam: What can we expect from you in this actual year?

I very much hope that I’ll be able to shoot this particular story. I think if the script gets an award, then it will receive public funding in Georgia (country). It will be very hard for the jury to say no to a project, which had a success. That’s my goal, let’s see what happens.

NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website

I use Facebook mostly and only recently started to discover Instagram. I’m quite open and usually reply to everyone. By the way, if you’re planning to visit Georgia (country), let me know and I’ll show your best places.

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