Zaza Urushadze

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Zaza Urushadze
"Mandariinide" tegijad 2014-01.jpg
Zaza Urushadze seen first on the right.
Born Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union (now Georgia)
Nationality Georgian
Years active 1989 - present
Known for Tangerines (2013)

Zaza Urushadze (Georgian: ზაზა ურუშაძე) (born 30 October 1965) is a Georgian film director, screenwriter and producer.[1]


Zaza Urushadze is a son of Ramaz Urushadze, famous Soviet football goalkeeper. He was born on October 30, 1965, in Tbilisi, Georgia.

He graduated in 1982-1988 at the directing department of the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgian State University. In 2002-2004 he was the director of the Georgian National Film Centre.

Zaza's full-length debut - film Here Comes the Dawn (1998) was very successful and participated in many international film festivals. It was Georgia's official Best Foreign Language Film submission at the 72nd Academy Awards, but did not receive a nomination.[2]

From 2003 to 2006 Zaza Urushadze was director of TV Series - Ckheli Dzagli. The project became successful, but 4th season was banned by Georgian Government because of its political themes. The director left his job to start work at his new project - Three Houses.

Zaza's second full-length film Three Houses was finished in 2008. It participated in international film festivals (including Montreal World Film Festival). In December, 2009 Zaza Urushadze’s film opened the program of Georgian Filmweek in Tallinn, Estonia. During the meeting with Artur Veeber and Tatjana Mühlbeier the idea to write a script of Tangerines was born.

Tangerines, the first Estonian-Georgian co-production, was finished in 2013. It became one of the most successful and worldwide acclaimed films in Georgian Film history. The story takes place during the war in Georgia, in the Apkhazeti region in 1990, an Estonian man, Ivo, has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines. When a wounded man is left at his door, Ivo has no choice but to take him in.

During three years, the film won awards in several international festivals, including Satellite Award for Best Foreign Language Film[3] and Audience award for best film in Warsaw International Film Festival.[4] At the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg 2013, "Tangerines" won a special prize, the Audience Prize for Best Feature Film and the Cinema Owners Prize and at the Fajr International Film Festival, the film was acknowledged as the best film with the best script writing.

At the Bari International Film Festival, the film was acknowledged as one of the best films of 2014, and at the International Film Festival in Tallinn, "Tangerines" was named the Best Estonian Film and the International Cinema Club prize.

In 2013 the film was also awarded the Estonian Film Critics’ Awards for the Best Film and Estonian State Awards for outstanding contribution to the promotion of Estonia. Estonian Ministry of Culture also named Mandarinebi as the best film.

It was also nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards[5][6] and was among the five nominated films at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards for best foreign language film.[7]

Three years later, in 2016, Zaza Urushadze began producing his new film - The Confession (working title "The Monk"). The film was produced by Ivo Felt of Estonia-based Allfilm and Zaza Urushadze's company Cinema24 and funded with €700,000 ($776,000). The Confession tells the story of a film director-turned-priest whose life in a small mountain village begins to unravel when he meets a local music teacher who is hiding a dark secret.[8] The director said: “I can’t say The Monk will be similar to Tangerines, It will be lighter and maybe even more sensitive, but it will be hopefully very entertaining." Filming took place in Kakheti, Georgia in July and August with a cast including Dmitri Tatishvili, Joseph Khvedelidze and Sophia Sebiskveradze.[9] The premiere is planned for early 2017.


Year Film Director Producer Writer Note
1989 Mattvis vints mamam miatova Yes Yes Yes Short film
1998 Here Comes the Dawn Yes Yes
2003-2006 Ckheli Dzagli Yes TV series
2008 Three Houses Yes Yes Yes
2011 Stay with Me Yes
2012 The Guardian Yes Third film of Karabakh Trilogy
2013 Tangerines Yes Yes Yes Nominated - Best Foreign Language Film in Academy Awards
2017 The Confession Yes Yes Yes completed
2017 Anton, his friend and the Russian revolution Yes Yes post-production


The film Tangerines won Urushadze the Best Director Award in the International Competition and the Audience Poll at the 29th Warsaw Film Festival. As well as the Special Award of Mannheim-Heidelberg and the Audience Award at the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg 2013.


  1. ^ Tangerines
  2. ^ *"Record 47 Countries In Oscar Contention" (Press release). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 1999-11-22. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  3. ^ Tangerines won Satellite Award for international Motion Picture category | allfilm
  4. ^ Tangerines › Cinemavault
  5. ^ "Croatia, Serbia, Finland and Estonia have announced their nominations for the category". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Oscar Nominations 2015: See The Full List". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  8. ^ Picture Tree picks up Oscar-nominee Zaza Urushadze's 'Monk' | News | Screen
  9. ^ 'Tangerines' director reveals details of follow-up 'The Monk' | News | Screen

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