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Caucasian Business (Kaukasischer Coup)

Caucasian Business
Ann Eleonora Jorgensen, Demetre "Duta" Skhirtladze (photo © David Gujabidze/Egoli Tossell Film)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2004

After several years working as a dramaturg and screenwriter, Tatiana Brandrup has now directed her first full-length feature film Caucasian Business (Kaukasischer Coup) which is described as "a romantic comedy-drama about a career woman's confrontation with sensuality and her capitulation to love."

The story centers on Valentina, a classical music agent from Munich, who falls in love with the charismatic interpreter Georgi on a business trip to the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Convinced that he has found the woman of his life and full of hopes of conquering Valentina and returning as a millionaire, Georgi drives an old Opel from Tbilisi to Munich. Once there, everything seems to have changed: Valentina doesn't know how to fit her Georgian romance into her Munich lifestyle. Georgi forces her to make a choice between work and love...

"The project was actually developed through the First Movie Program [at the Bayerisches Filmzentrum Geiselgasteig on the Bavaria Film studio lot]," recalls producer Judy Tossell. "It was a very, very long development process, and we were then brought onboard by Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) because they knew we had experience working in Georgia with Nana Djordjadze's 27 Missing Kisses. What I think we all find exciting is that it is a debut film that's also a genre film. It has real potential for prime-time television as well as for a theatrical release."

"It is a bit like Green Card in a way," Tossell explains. "The bulk of the shoot was in Munich, but we kicked off with the Georgian shoot and those all-important scenes at the airport were difficult to get with the run-up to the elections. Every time we had scheduled to shoot at the airport, Shevardnadze was in town and the airport was closed down!"

Valentina is played by Ann Eleonora Jorgensen, the Danish star from Lone Scherfig's international hit Italian for Beginners, while lovesick Georgi is portrayed by Demetre "Duta" Skhirtladze who is one of the leading film and TV actors in Georgia and also the presenter of the Georgian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Caucasian Business marks Demetre's first role in an international production.

Meanwhile, Georgian actor Merab Ninidze, one of the stars from Caroline Link's OSCAR-winning Nowhere in Africa(Nirgendwo in Afrika) and another Egoli Tossell Film production England! by Achim von Borries, plays a cameo role as a Georgian soap star.
Genre Romantic Comedy
Category Feature
Year of Production 2004
Director Tatiana Brandrup
Screenplay Tatiana Brandrup
Cinematography Martin Farkas
Gabi Kull-Neujahr
Eva Maria Stiebler, Vaja Jalagania
Cast Ann Eleonora Jorgensen, Demetre "Duta" Skhirtladze, Sandro Butikashvili, Robert Giggenbach, Merab Ninidze
Producer Judy Tossell
Production Company Egoli Tossell Film/Berlin, in cooperation with SWR, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE
Format 35 mm, color
Shooting Dates Tbilisi/Georgia, Munich, October - November 2003
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern

Egoli Tossell Film AG
Jens Meurer, Judy Tossell
Revaler Str. 100
10245 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-2 46 56 50
fax +49-30-24 65 65 24