13 aka TZAMETI

Year: 2005
USA: Palm Pictures
UK: Revolver Entertainment
Cast: George Babluani, Aurelien Recoing, Philippe Passon, Pascal Bongard, Vania Villers, Fred Ulysse, Augustin Legrand, Joe Prestia, Christophe Vandevelde, François Rimbau
Director: Gela Babluani
Countries: France / Georgia
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA: 86 mins
UK: 93 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong violence and hard drug use
USA Release Date: 28 July 2006 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 13 January 2005 (Limited Release - wider)
UK Release Date: 6 January 2006 (Limited Release - London)


Gela Babluani's first feature film 13 aka TZAMETI, a tense and poignant French noir thriller shot in black and white, won the 'Lion of the Future Award' for Best First Film at the 2005 Venice Film Festival.

13 aka TZAMETI is a journey that begins when a young man falls into a degenerate world of mental chaos behind closed doors where men gamble with other men's lives...

Sebastien (George Babluani), a clean-faced 20-year-old who lives an impoverished life with his immigrant family, is hired to repair the roof of the morphine-addicted Godon (Philippe Passon). The old man dies before Sebastien can be paid, but not before the boy overhears a conversation that seems to promise easy money. He impulsively decides to follow the instructions meant for Godon and see where they lead him.

From this point onwards there is no turning back for Sebastien, he becomes trapped in a situation which he can do nothing about... just when it seems the journey is turning into a wild goose chase, Sebastien comes face to face with a ring of clandestine gamblers who bet on human lives.

The story is told through the eyes of 26-year-old Georgian-born first time director Gela Babluani, son of well-known Georgian helmer Temur Babluani, who shows strong talent at creating an atmosphere of threatening mystery and powerful psychological violence. Tariel Meliava's black and white cinematography also enhances the brutality of each character building tension throughout the film.