NIKOZI SHADOWS, Film Still, Video, 19:11 Minutes, HD 16:9, 2016

NIKOZI SHADOWS, Film Still, Video, 19:11 Minutes, HD 16:9, 2016

NIKOZI SHADOWS, Film Still, Video, 19:11 Minutes, HD 16:9, 2016

NIKOZI SHADOWS, Film Still, Video, 19:11 Minutes, HD 16:9, 2016

NIKOZI SHADOWS, Film Still, Video, 19:11 Minutes, HD 16:9, 2016

NIKOZI SHADOWS, Documentation Filming, Zemo Nikozi, 2016

NIKOZI SHADOWS, Documentation Filming, Zemo Nikozi, 2016

NIKOZI SHADOWS, Documentation Filming, Zemo Nikozi, 2016

NIKOZI SHADOWS is a nineteen-minute, Georgian / Swiss / American action movie that was written, directed, produced and screened in Zemo Nikozi, Georgia by Swiss artist Linda Pfenninger and Philip Matesic. The film project took place in September 2016, during the ten-day artasfoundation residency “OFF/LINE: What can art do in Zemo Nikozi?".

Zemo Nikozi is a Georgian village heavily affected by the 2008 Russian-Georgian War and since then, is located directly on the demarcation line to South Ossetia. The Zurich-based artsfoundation set up the "OFF/LINE" residency for a second year in a row, inviting eleven Swiss artists and eleven Georgian artists to take part. Pfenninger and Matesic decided to make an action film because of the rustic and war torn setting of Zemo Nizoki, the access (through my guest family) to a "chacha" (Georgian brandy) distillery and looming on the horizon was Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. This was a town were the residents were physically and politically cut off from since 2008, that history still so present and real.

Participation was a key element in the project. Pfenninger and Matesic worked very closely and spontaneously with seventeen local residents, who provided access to filming locations, built sets for scenes, acted in almost all of the roles and even did an on-the-spot car stunt. The action film genre provided a highly accessible medium, making it easy to involve local residents in the playful and improvised filming process.

Once all of the scenes were shot, edited together and subtitled, NIKOZI SHADOWS was screened on the final day of the residency. Over one hundred local residents arrived to see themselves, their friends, family members and neighbors acting in an action movie about illegal chacha trading, a hidden tunnel to Tskhinvali and an American / Swiss protagonist that barely escapes with his life. The film was suddenly about recognizing again, in a new light, the possibilities of everyday life and community in Zemo Nikozi.

Zemo Nikozi, Georgia, 2016