The Encounter /
Die Begegnung

From left to right the four chess players:
Nana Alexandria, Maia Tschiburdanidse, Nona Gaprindaschwili and Nana Iosseliani
Chess Olympiad, Batumi 2018


“The Encounter”explores an extraordinary biographical pattern between four women who became icons of women‘s emancipation during the Soviet era. The focus lies on the legendary Soviet Georgian chess players Nona Gaprindashvili, Maia Chiburdanidze, Nana Alexandria and Nana Ioseliani. The film leads us to Tbilisi in Georgia, where all four women live today. From the beginning of the 1960s until the collapse of the Soviet Union, these four players revolutionized “women’s chess”, and for the first time raised it to “men‘s level“ in an international context. Nona Gaprindashvili and Maia Chiburdanidze chased each other’s world championship title in chess for almost 30 years. Nana Alexandria and Nana Ioseliani were hot on their heels. Nona was also the first woman in the world to receive the prestigious title of “Grandmaster” because she was so successful against men.

Today they are chess stars and aging women, ordinary and excessive, pedantic and free, and the city, indeed the whole country, are still marked by them – even if these marks are slowly fading. The four, who often played together as the Soviet Union‘s Olympic team, were also tough opponents on the chessboard throughout their lives and have not been jointly sitting at a table, let alone at a chessboard, for over 20 years. “The Encounter“ brings all four together again: a final game and an encounter with the next generation. Who will win, and what will happen?

„The Encounter“ is a film about winning and losing on the chessboard and in life, and about rebelling against a powerful male system. A cinematic reflection on how the struggle for independence and freedom experienced by individual women echoes in individual and collective life stories.

 


From left to right the four chess players:
Maia Tschiburdanidse, Nana Alexandria, Nona Gaprindaschwili and Nana Iosseliani
Honouring the Winners of the Chess Olympiad, Lucerne 1982


Kino/Dokumentarfilm

Script
Tatia Skhirtladze, Ina Ivanceanu

Director
Tatia Skhirtladze

Co-Director
Anna Khazaradze

Assistant Director
Maryna Stepanska

DOP
Sebastian Thaler

DIT
Klaus Track

Composition
Alexandra Vrabelov

Production
berg hammer film (Karin Berghammer)

Co-Production
Amour Fou (Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Bady Minck)

1991 Productions (Nino Chichua, Anna Khazaradze)

Playground Produkcija (Sarita Matijevic)

Production Manager
Lena Krins

Production Accountant
Claudia Stanetty

Production Coordinator – berg hammer film
Barbara Eppensteiner

Production Coordinator – Amour Fou
Julian Berner

Production Assistant – berg hammer film
Ricarda Ecker

gefördert von
BKA

ORF Film-Fernsehabkommen

Film Industry Support Austria

EURIMAGES

Linda Jensen / Silver Bullet Kft.

 

Georgian National Film Center

Film Center Serbia

EWA Network – Women in Film Award


From left to right the four chess players:
Maia Tschiburdanidse, Nana Alexandria, Nona Gaprindaschwili and Nana Iosseliani

 

 

»Bogorodica, Devo, stan’ feministkoj
Stan’ feministkoj, feministkoj stan«

»Gottesmutter, Jungfrau, werde Feministin
Werde Feministin, werde Feministin«

Refrain des »Punk-Gebets« von Pussy Riot