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Chola The Bear

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Short synopsis

In 1992 an unemployed film director attempts to escape the Georgian civil war by disguising himself as a bear and travelling with his former stuntman to the Berlin Zoo. It’s a journey fraught with obstacles – some comic, some tragic, some both – in which he learns that hope, love and freedom are as fragile as they are elusive.


With Georgia’s capital under siege in 1992, unemployed film director NIKA sees a unique opportunity to escape the ravages of civil war. A former studio bear CHOLA has been invited to retire at the Berlin Zoo, and NIKA and his former stuntman TOMA can accompany Chola on the long journey. But the war again impinges on the two friends as Nika’s films are burned in an attack that also leaves their beloved bear dead. With no other options, Nika hits on an outrageous solution: he’ll disguise himself in a bear suit and travel as Chola to Berlin. They sneak through Turkey, the Balkans and Eastern Europe to, finally, Berlin, encountering soldiers, police, a mystic soothsayer, drug dealers and gangsters along the way … oh, and a fiery red-headed French-Canadian animal rights activist who joins them to ensure the well-being of ‘Chola!’ It’s a journey fraught with obstacles – some comic, some tragic, some both – in which the motley band of travelers learn that hope, love and freedom are as fragile as they are elusive.

Technical Information

2020; Road movie; Ukraine, Germany, Georgia, Bulgaria; 112 minutes; DCP, ProResHQ; 5.1 mix; Original Language: Georgian, English, German, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, French, Russian; Subtitles: English

Zaza Buadze, Otar Shamatava

Zaza Buadze

Sergey Bordenyk

Production Designer
Sergey Brjestovskii, Gia Laperadze, Vanina Geleva

Costume Designers
Olena Bohdanova, Ruslana Zagolnikova, Maka Jebirashvili

Kateryna Garkusha, Olga Gnatkevich, Darya Yuzvenko, Nataliya Melyanska

Andriy Ponomarov

Sound Design
Leif Ziemann, Paul Laing

Martin Menzel, Oleksiy Shamin

Stelios Ziannis, Vera Weit, Otar Shamatava, Pavlina Jeleva, Georgy Cholako

Julia Cherniavska, Oleg Shcherby

Production Company
Fresh Production

Nika Korinteli
Nika Tavadze

Sonya Jefferson
Joséphine De La Baume

Thoma Gogol
Bogdan Beniuk

Jean Pierre Jannaud
Georges Corraface

Helmut Murnau
Christian Ulmen

Ilka Zafirova

Director’s Biography 

Zaza Buadze

Zaza Buadze is a Georgian script writer and film director. He was born in Kutaisi, Georgia in 1962. In 1990 he graduated from Moscow`s High Courses of Film directors and Scriptwriters.

As a writer he collaborates with the directors in Germany, Greece, Italy, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia etc. 

Zaza Buadze has directed the full length features, shorts, TV series, documentaries and commercials in the different countries. Originally from Georgia, currently he lives and works in Ukraine.


Director’s Filmography

2020. “Chervonyy. Bez linii frontu”

2018. “Callsign “Banderas”

2017. “Chervonyy”

2017. “Occupation”

2013. “And God Steppes Out on Space”

2011. “The Sunwheel”

2008. “Red Lotus”

2007. “Money for Daughter”

2006-2007. “Coffee and Beer” 4,5(TV series)

2004-2005. “Coffee and Beer” 1,2 5, (TV series)

2004. “The Moon Wally Serenade”

1999. “Gudaury Fairy Tale”

1994. “Batumi War” – documentary

1992. “The Angles at the Bedside”

1990. “The Wall”

Odessa IFF 2020

coming soon…