Lado Kvataniya –– the director made famous by Cardi Bi x Kanye West’s “Hot sh*t” –– has released a short film with Georgian band, Mgzavrebi.
The is the dramatic story of souls’ reincarnation, captured on antique movie cameras among antique Georgian villages, high in the mountains and lost in the mists of time. Here a new life comes into being.
The critically acclaimed director Lado Kvataniya recently enjoyed international success with “Hot Sh*t” for Cardi B & Kanye West. He has now released a short music film with Mgzavrebi, an indie band from Georgia who just announced their new album “Kamara” for 2 February 2023.
“Waltz” is a song about the loss of a loved one, a dance with oneself or –– more accurately –– with a kindred, absent soul. The video took an entire year to make and was shot among Georgia’s mountain villages, with additional locations in the capital, Tbilisi.
The film tells about an invisible connection with a departed loved one and the mystical possibility of soul reincarnation. The main character experiences the loss of his mother, but she comes to him in her new incarnation.
Lado Kvataniya is also known for his debut filmThe Execution (2022) and for success with local luminaries Manizha, Oxxxymiron, Monetochka, Noize MC –– plus numerous others.
Lado Kvataniya, Director and Producer:
“Georgian was the language of my childhood, indeed the only language I spoke till the age of five, but I lost it as I grew up and moved to another country. After listening to “Waltz”, without understanding the words, I produced a script to accompany the song’s core message. On 27 January 2022 I scouted locations with Gigi Dedalamazishvili, the frontman of Mgzavrebi.
“Together we focused on Bakhmaro, an authentically rural location, high in the mountains and five hours outside the capital. We got caught in a snowstorm that was threatening avalanches. We were lucky not to get stuck in the mountains for a couple of weeks, without any food or means of communication. We were lucky just to get back safe and sound.
“It is worth mentioning that none of the video’s B&W footage is archival. I shot that personally, over a week last September in mountain villages far from hordes of tourists. The result becomes a metaphor for a world inhabited by the departed. We began shooting with a Scoopic camera but it broke down, so we continued with a Bolex from the 1960s –– and that gave us the newsreel effect we sought. The resulting footage included plenty of spoiled shots and underexposure, which actually increased that sense of an old newsreel. It’s a miracle we managed to record a sense of fragile timelessness, of life in the Georgian countryside.
“Exactly nine months after our first scouting trip – on 27 October 2022 – we wound up by filming the birth of a child. While Gigi and I picked mountain locations, our future protagonist was conceived somewhere in Tbilisi.
“Mgzavrebi and our crew dedicate this film to our dear, departed relatives – whom you’ll see in a collage at the end of the film.”
Gigi Dedalamazishvili, Mgzavrebi frontman:
“Waltz” is about an initial encounter with loss. We put our hearts and shared memories of loved ones into the song. I, for example, was fairly grown-up –– sixteen years old –– when I first experienced death. My grandmother passed away. I can still remember the sense of loss.
“I did not know things like that actually happen. I’d no idea what to do with my feelings –– and that’s the theme of “Waltz”. It’s a dance with oneself, like dancing with a void, but in reality you can dance with a kindred soul from the afterworld. I remember my grandma singing me a childhood lullaby – which is now the main melody of our song. “Waltz” is dedicated to our loved ones who never left, even after passing away. Everybody involved in creating “Waltz” channeled it into a little of their own, private pain. The kind of pain that, sadly, lives in every one of us. And, it seems, we’ve managed to clothe this suffering in the light.”