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Nino & Iliko

In the newly Sovietized Georgia where fear reigns and people are taken away and executed at night, two young dancers Nino and Iliko fall in love on the stage of Tbilisi Opera & Ballet Theater.

Nino & Iliko (1991 Productions, Georgia). Newly Sovietized Georgia, 1930s — a period marked by fear and surveillance. The government compiles a list of thousands of "anti-Soviet criminals" who must be annihilated — they are arrested at night, executed without trial, or sent to labour camps in Siberia. Against this backdrop, two young dancers, Nino Ramishvili and Iliko Sukhishvili, cross paths on the Tbilisi Opera & Ballet Theater stage. Nino is a ballet dancer from an aristocratic family, a 'persona non grata' for the Soviets. She is strong-willed and short-tempered, often dresses in bourgeois clothes and openly smokes in public. Her hatred of the communist regime stems from the suffering they have caused their family. Iliko, hailing from the working class, possesses extraordinary talent. He has come a long way from selling newspapers on the street to becoming the Opera's beloved soloist, a charming figure adored by the audience. His attitude towards communism is unclear.

Love is born, and Iliko soon reveals to Nino his profound aspiration — to establish a dance company alongside her. However, as the "Enemy of the People’s" daughter, Nino fears that chasing artistic dreams in a place where creative self-expression is outlawed could lead them down the same path as her exiled father. Iliko has a solution: they will draw inspiration from folklore and package their choreography as National Dance. Can the couple outsmart Soviet censorship, or will they follow the path of many before them, being executed or sent to and forever forgotten in Siberian camps?

Pitchee: Anna Khazaradze, producer

Anna Khazaradze, a Georgian producer/director and co-founder of 1991 Productions, holds a bachelor's degree in Film and Television from London College of Communication (UAL). Specializing in developing, financing, and producing, fiction and documentary films, she co-produced director Levan Akin's feature Crossing, Berlinale Panorama 2024 opening film. Her released credits, include Smiling Georgia 2023 (KVIFF) and Glory to the Queen 2020 (Prize for best Documentary in Georgia), which she also co-directed. Currently, Anna is developing her first miniseries Nino & Iliko as well as the feature documentaries 9-Month Contract (spotlighted at Cannes Docs), and Berliner and the feature fiction Tear Gas (funded by GNFC, CNC, ZDF/Arte).

Project Information:

Producers: Nino Chichua, Anna Khazaradze
Writers: Maka Kukulava, Uta Beria
Partners: Cavea + (Georgian streamer), Georgian National Film Center (development funding)
Development stage: Financing stage
Budget per episode: £433,000
Financing already in place: 70,000 GBP (4%) from Cavea+ and Georgian National Film Center
Looking for: Production partners and funding and broadcasters

Company profile: 1991 Productions is a Tbilisi and London-based women-led film production company run by two high-school friends Nino Chichua and Anna Khazaradze. They develop, finance and produce talented directors’ fiction and documentary films through European co-productions. Their most recent feature film Crossing, a five-country collaboration by Levan Akin, is set to open the Panorama Section at Berlinale in 2024.

1991 Productions is also known for the feature documentaries Smiling Georgia, KVIFF 2023, and Glory to the Queen (2020), screened at over 25 festivals globally winning the Best Documentary award in Georgia in 2021.

The company is currently developing its first miniseries Nino and Iliko (Midpoint 2022). 1991 is also working on the feature documentary 9-Month Contract spotlighted at Cannes Docs 2023 and pitched at Sheffield Doc/Fest as The Whickers 2023, the feature film Tear Gas (funded by GNFC and CNC), and feature documentary Berliner (CIRCLE Women Doc Accelerator).

Contact: [email protected];[email protected]