Tatia Bidzinashvili - "We have now more than 6 mln GEL portfolio"

Hello Tatia. First of all, I would like to thank you for giving your time for the interview. Obviously, the first question is about the results. If it is not a secret, how many applications are received and how many of these applications are already in production.

tatia-bidzinashvili-filmingeorgiatoday-newFirst of all, let me greet your readers and thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about the details of the newly launched film industry incentive program – “Film in Georgia”. The program that was initiated by the Prime Minister of Georgia, as a new component of the State Program “Produce in Georgia”, was launched in the beginning of 2016, coordinated and implemented by Enterprise Georgia.

“Film in Georgia” program envisages  a 20-25% cash rebate on qualified expenses incurred in Georgia for international and local production companies. The main objective of the incentive is to introduce and promote Georgia as an Eastern European filming destination as well as to support our film industry by attracting more international production houses to the country. “Film in Georgia” coupled with the country’s geographic and architectural diversity, business-friendly environment and lowest level of bureaucracy ensures pleasant and productive filmmaking process.

In order to better introduce the details of the program, Enterprise Georgia is actively promoting “Film in Georgia” on international market. Two very successful road shows have already been organized in Mumbai, India and Los Angeles, USA for the popularization of the program, we planned important meetings with the representatives of the Indian and American production companies, based on which Georgia gained worldwide popularity as the best Eastern European shooting destination.

In 5 months since the launch of the program, in cooperation with the Georgia’s National Film Centre, we can already boast to have 4 big international projects in our portfolio, from which one has already completed shootings, two are underway while the last one is preparing for shooting in Georgia.

As a result, the total budget spent in our country will exceed 6 000 000 GELwhile the outlook is truly optimistic with several production houses showing interest to film in Georgia

We know that none of the projects are finished yet. Do you have any information about when your first project will be completed? As everyone is interested how the system works, how many days will this procedure take, and whether you plan to make any official announcement about this or not? 

As you are already aware “Film in Georgia” is open for international and local productions registered as a legal entity in Georgia, offering 20-25% cash back on qualified expenses incurred in the country. Under the program one beneficiary has already completed the shootings in Georgia, but has not drawn up Audit document as proof for the qualified expenses. We think that by the end of the year the cash rebate for remaining three projects will be completed. As for the official presentation, we have not planned anything, but a will definitely promote each and every film made in frames of our program.

As Anna has already told us, in June you were hosting the guests from the U.S. and England. If we have correct information, they were location managers and producers. Can you tell us in more details about the guests? From our sources we know that you were the organizer of this tour. 

From 20 to 26 June the famous location managers of Hollywood movies , such as : „Transformers”, “Captain America”, “The Town”, “The Hangover”, „Sicario”, “Mission Impossible” spent one week wondering around Georgia and scouting through Tbilisi, Rustavi, Mtskheta, Kazbegi, Uplistsikhe, Tskhaltubo, Zugdidi, Mestia, Anaklia, as well as Batumi! They ensured us that Georgia has a huge potential for attracting different types of productions.

We are happy that Georgia deserved such admiration, as the feedback of these people will significantly influence the decision of Hollywood producers to film in Georgia.

Since Hollywood location scouts were looking for some virgin locations, unique sites, they did discover much more than they were expected. They were delighted by the diversity of locations on such a small scale. Georgia differentiated itself by marvelous film-friendly environment, as the society’s viewpoints and behavior are very important factors for the filmmakers.

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How were the meetings going with Georgian Production Companies, and did they have possibility to meet and acquaint with each other?

American filmmakers met their Georgian counterparts and various production company representatives to share their experiences, as well as to learn about Georgian cinema and the existing infrastructure, which offers an excellent opportunity for Georgia to become the Eastern European center for film sets. The application system as well as overall cash rebate procedures are very simple and convenient, making Georgia more attractive destination for the internationally recognized producers.

Are there planned any tours similar to this with other Film Production Companies ? 

The Enterprise Georgia successfully popularizes cash rebate by various activities on the foreign film industry market, as well as inside the country. As already mentioned above, the Road Shows have already been organized in Mumbai, India and Los Angeles, and USA that vividly presents Georgia’s locational and shooting advantages. Inside the country, we have already organized to host FAM tour from Bollywood, to introduce Georgia’s potentiality.

After the meetings and tours, which region, place, city influenced the guests most of all? What they appreciate in these locations? 

Producers are given chance to shoot various climatic and environmental scenes o all at once in 4-5 hour’s proximity. Georgia has a lot to offer filmmakers from modern city buildings to historic homes, snowy mountains to seashores, thick humid woods to semi-desserts, making it the perfect location for the film production. Particularly this factor positions Georgia as a reasonable country in the film industry market. Foreign producers are mainly interested by Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Mta-Tusheti as well as by Batumi, Kazbegi and Samtskhe-Javakheti, but for the Industrial shootings –by Rustavi region. Producers and location managers were investigating different places and sharing their experiences with one another. They were telling that Georgian destinations are so diverse that it can be used for various global location shootings.

As I know from some secret sources, you will start working on a new training. Can you tell us a bit more about this? 

We have intensive negotiations with Film industry private sector as we are directly working on determination of need assessments, based on which specific activities will be introduced.

We do believe that “Film in Georgia” coupled with the country’s geographic and architectural diversity, business-friendly environment and lowest level of bureaucracy ensures pleasant and productive filmmaking process.

Thank you and I will often visit you with the questions.