Self-shooting director Noemi Hatala’s film, Where the Women Run the Nightlife, introduces the female club owners who manage four of the five major venues in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
It shows how they are encouraging self-expression and shaping the minds of a generation otherwise oppressed by the country's conservative government. The film is a good example of the interesting and important issues Hatala likes to tackle in her work and how she gets the best from her subjects.
“I'm from Budapest where I worked as a video journalist for the coolest Hungarian online media publication for a few years,” she explains. “I made short documentaries on several topics, but the best thing was that I learned the production and post production part of the process which is essential in this industry.”
Hatala clearly recognises the importance of having a varied mix of skills in today’s media landscape and, currently based between Budapest and London, she tries to explore meaningful topics where she can. “I’m currently working on a documentary I can't talk about and sometimes do small projects which I shoot and edit, mainly about social issues like drugs and mental health,” she says.
“If I have great rushes the editing part is usually smooth, easy and most importantly fast.”
As for her process, she explains that an initial idea or treatment often tends to grow as she gets deeper into the subject matter. “I love to find interesting topics which haven’t been covered and meet with a lot of people before I start shooting," she explains. "During these pre-interviews I always find out something more interesting than I expected. Research is my secret ingredient and the interviews where I can listen for as long as is needed.”
The interviews in her documentary on Tbilisi’s nightlife bring out some interesting ideas around the social and political issues affecting the place. The women clearly feel at ease talking to the director and sharing their thoughts and personal experiences. “I love this connection I have face to face with the people during shoots, I think it’s the most magical part,” adds Hatala. “If I have great rushes the editing part is usually smooth, easy and most importantly fast.”
Hatala works as a freelancer and has completed projects for Vice, Lush Studios and several production companies but her smaller projects come with familiar challenges. “I usually have a very small budget for shoots so can't afford to use super expensive cameras, etc. This is what makes the process very special, because it forces me to be creative all the time,” she concludes.
See a selection of Hatala's work - including Where the Women Run the Nightlife - below and connect with her here.