Behind the Scenes: Naz Tliachev

 Naz Tliachev; Film Producer 

By Dayle Hoffmann

Following a recent screening of THE TOMB, starring Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games), I had the opportunity to meet the film’s Producer, Naz Tliachev. Within a few minutes of speaking with him, I could tell he is passionate about filmmaking. His motto; live and learn.

“Technology is constantly changing, especially with cameras, now its high-definition feature films and it takes skill. In the past, you had to develop your own film. Now, you have to know your way around a computer and editing software.” says Naz Tliachev. Technology has made making movies easier for many people in the film industry. But, as Tliachev will attest, there is no replacement for the producer who is responsible for holding everything together. As producer of WHITE SWAN, starring Christian Slater, Cole Hauser, Angus Macfadyen & Sofya Skya and THE TOMB, Tliachev describes his role, “I’m responsible for everything from the beginning to the end.” Discipline, logic and focus are essential to excel at the role of the Producer, also needed is common sense, thick skin and a like-able personality, and Naz fits the bill. Getting people to look at things with a new and different perspective is part of what motivates Tliachev. His passion is to make beautiful films that get to the root and send a message.

Born in the city of Ufa in Russia, Tliachev who now lives in Beverly Hills, California, has made his past two films in Europe. After working for years as a film consultant throughout Europe, he has garnered many international contacts in the industry, which now provides him with a wealth of resources any Producer would be thankful to have.  When asked what the benefits are of making a film overseas, Naz surmises to say, “Locations become expensive in Los Angeles. There is so much competition and everyone wants to make a movie in Hollywood. Sites worldwide offer amazing locations and the film commissions often embrace filmmakers.” One of the locations he used in THE TOMB, was a hundreds year old gothic castle on the Crimean Peninsula, providing the perfect, authentic background that raised the artistic caliber of the film overall.

The Tomb, based on Edgar Allen Poe’s “Ligeia,” follows a successful writer, Jonathan, who falls under the spell of a bewitching, beautiful Ligeia. In her quest for immortality, she tricks Jonathan into leaving his fiancé and he moves to the Black Sea to join Ligeia, only to be driven into madness by her insatiable lust for souls. The film also stars Eric Roberts and Michael Madsen was directed by Michael Staininger and is being distributed by Gorilla Pictures in the USA, and Bill J. Gottlieb.

THE TOMB was presented at a special screening event at The 2013 Movieville International Film Festival (MIFF) in Sarasota, Florida and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. The proceeding year, Naz’s production of, WHITE SWAN, featuring an all-star cast, won critical acclaim and numerous awards, including: Best Actress, Best Picture and Best Cinematography.

Susan Short, Sofya Skya, Naz Tliachev, Alan Bailey at MIFF 2012.

Susan Short, Sofya Skya, Naz Tliachev, Alan Bailey at MIFF 2012.

An earlier film Naz produced, SHADOWS IN PARADISE written and directed by J. Stephen Maunder, starring Bruce Boxleitner, Tom Sizemore, Danny Trejo, Mark Dacascos and Armande Assante also found success landing an exclusive premier on the Starz Network for an extended term. During a military raid to rescue in Iraq Max Forrester’s teammate and girlfriend Sasha; she discovers and reports a dangerous arm smuggling conducted by a handful of men called Shadow Company. Max and Sasha prevent the illicit trafficking and retrieve the weapons in a spectacular and very dangerous showdown with Ghost, the head of Shadow Company.

Tliachev offers advice for filmmakers, “It’s Important to get a distributor prior to making a film.” He has worked with Bill Gottlieb, founder of Gorilla Pictures, on all of his films and credits the ability to making more films to the mutually beneficial partnership he has with Gorilla.

Two of the entertainment industry greats; Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott, are among those Tliachev highly respects and enjoys their work. In addition, Edgar Allen Poe resonates with him, prompting the film The Tomb. “I was always a fan of Edgar Allen Poe… I am surprised more people don’t make films from his short stories.”

The Tomb took approximately one year to bring to the big screen, it may seem like a long time, but that doesn’t stop Tliachev who is in pre-production of a new adventure action film taking place in Papua New Guinea next year. Tliachev is already creating buzz on the line and in talks with the Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and Tourism to get this creative co-production into full swing.

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