an excerpt from

Scenes
from Georgia

On set with director Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo

an excerpt from

Scenes 
from Georgia

On set with director Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo

words & photos Aurélien Foucault

Photographer Aurélien Foucault first met director Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo in his hometown of Nantes, France, nearly a decade ago. They were both at the ‘Festival des 3 Continents’, a film festival devoted to the cinemas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Aurélien was working as an interpreter, and Sigrid was there to participate in a workshop for young producers, in preparation for her first feature film, Anita’s Last Chacha.

February 25th, Tbilisi / Signaghi
5 am, 1°C
UNTRUE, Day 8

I find myself sitting in the dark, in a van alongside a group of sleepy Filipinos, all bundled up. I can barely make out their faces, hidden under coats, scarves, and long woollen hats. I'm told Sigrid is in another car, and I'll meet her in Signaghi, a beautiful town in the heart of Kakheti, overlooking the Alazani valley and its vineyards.

We arrive in Signaghi with the first light of the morning. Tents, vans, and a truck are parked on the town square. A quiet agitation animates the camp as the town slowly awakes in the morning fog. 

Mark Dizon, a young photographer on the set, informs me there's coffee at the tent. That sounds like a good place to start. Behind the hotplates, the catering team is busy putting breakfast together for everyone. I learn that the food is prepared by a team of Tbilisi-based Filipino chefs, and then brought from the capital every day to wherever the shoot happens to be located. Georgian cuisine is rich and varied, but tends to be bread-based, and the Filipinos really need their rice.

I finally catch sight of a petite figure in the distance, playing with a bunch of stray dogs in the middle of the square. Sure enough, it's Sigrid. Her smile is contagious and as she approaches, everybody seems to emerge from their morning stupor. She immediately starts to introduce me to everyone from the crew, effortlessly relaying the name of every single person, whether Filipino or Georgian, from the drivers to the catering staff, long-time collaborators to recently acquainted locals.

The crew is roughly half Georgian, half Filipino. "This is actually my biggest film production ever," Sigrid laughs. For Kita Kita, shot in Japan, she had only two local crew members: a production manager and an assistant, in addition to a Filipino cast of a dozen or so actors. This time, every Filipino crew member has a Georgian counterpart, and Sigrid has been amazed by the thoroughness of the Georgian side of operations. "My production designer has a Georgian counterpart, the technical crew has a Georgian counterpart, and I even have a Georgian personal assistant," she marvels. "We have a makeup truck, a mobile toilet truck, catering... I really didn't expect we'd have all that. The Georgian team really does their best. They're always trying to accommodate me." 


Find the rest of Aurélien's film diary in Issue Two

Mark Dizon, a young photographer on the set, informs me there's coffee at the tent. That sounds like a good place to start. Behind the hotplates, the catering team is busy putting breakfast together for everyone. I learn that the food is prepared by a team of Tbilisi-based Filipino chefs, and then brought from the capital every day to wherever the shoot happens to be located. Georgian cuisine is rich and varied, but tends to be bread-based, and the Filipinos really need their rice. 

I finally catch sight of a petite figure in the distance, playing with a bunch of stray dogs in the middle of the square. Sure enough, it's Sigrid. Her smile is contagious and as she approaches, everybody seems to emerge from their morning stupor. She immediately starts to introduce me to everyone from the crew, effortlessly relaying the name of every single person, whether Filipino or Georgian, from the drivers to the catering staff, long-time collaborators to recently acquainted locals. 

The crew is roughly half Georgian, half Filipino. "This is actually my biggest film production ever," Sigrid laughs. For Kita Kita, shot in Japan, she had only two local crew members: a production manager and an assistant, in addition to a Filipino cast of a dozen or so actors. This time, every Filipino crew member has a Georgian counterpart, and Sigrid has been amazed by the thoroughness of the Georgian side of operations. "My production designer has a Georgian counterpart, the technical crew has a Georgian counterpart, and I even have a Georgian personal assistant," she marvels. "We have a makeup truck, a mobile toilet truck, catering... I really didn't expect we'd have all that. The Georgian team really does their best. They're always trying to accommodate me."


Find the rest of Aurélien's film diary in Issue Two

scenes from georgia 2

© 2019 Perfect Strangers LLC. All rights reserved.

© 2019 Perfect Strangers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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