Interview: Pierre Richard
Interview: Nino Kirtadze
Producer Marc Ruscart
"A CHEF IN LOVE"
6 countries co-producing 1001 recipes...
For more than sixty years, Russian audiences were particularly partial to two types of film: French comedies and Georgian comedies. Little known in France, Georgian comedy developed as a genre in the 1930's in the Tbilisi studios, which were the oldest, most productive and most imaginative in the USSR alongside Moscow and St. Petersburg. Georgia is a country of vineyards and orchards. Like the French, Georgians worship, almost to excess, the pleasures of the table, cognac, and having a good time.
Two years ago at the Cannes Festival, Nana Djordjadze, who had won the Camer d'Or for her film ROBINSONADA, and her husband, Irakli Kvirikadze, a scriptwriter and director, talked to me about a project for a light-hearted drama telling the colorful adventures of a chef and his French restaurant lost in the mountains of the Caucasus. A few months earlier, I had introduced Nana Djordjadze to Pierre Richard, who is a huge star in Georgia and the countries of the former Eastern bloc, at a reception at the French embassy in Moscow. There was never any question as to who would play the lead. All that was left was to write the story and finance the film...
Nana Djordjadze, whose mother is German, works regularly in Berlin where she has close links with the Babelsberg Studios. La Sept Cinema has always been attentive to Georgian cinema and was the first to declare an interest in the film. Canal +, then the members of the CNC's commission for the advance on box office receipts, were soon seduced by the quality and originality of the subject. Thereafter, the film was supported by Eurimages and partly financed by Russia (Sotra) and the Ukraine (Innova).
The average shooting time for a Georgian film is one year - different world, different customs-- so it required the presence and vigor of Pierre Richard and the French production company to ensure shooting was completed in four months. But the gamble we took by shooting in Georgia was inherent to the film's subject and is fully justified on seeing the finished product; it would have been totally impossible to tell this story without having been lost in the middle of the Caucasus ourselves.
A CHEF IN LOVE is the only Georgian film produced by a crew living and working in Georgia, a country whose cinema industry was born in the 1920's and which not so long ago could claim many professional technicians and a cinema tradition known worldwide.
Five countries (Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Germany and Belgium) alongside France have thus joined together to allow a unique film to emerge, well rooted in its national culture, but nevertheless totally open to the world outside.About the cast