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Samegrelo (Mengrelia)
Notable people of Samegrelo:
Ia Parulava was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her farther, Otar Parulava, was a prominent Georgian artist and sculptor. Ia’s acting career began at the age 12 when a respected Georgian stage and film director, Nana Khatiskatsi, discovered her for the part of an orphan in the popular film "A Difficult Beginning". The young actress’s talent was obvious; she was hired by Kartuli Filmi [Georgian Film] where she acted in numerous films and television productions, as well as produced and hosted a weekly musical show. At the time, during the Soviet Union, her show was considered very progressive and western oriented. Ia’ s love of acting brought her to the Tbilisi State Theatrical Institute under the direction and guidance of  Mikheil Tumanishvili - an extraordinary master  teacher. Upon completing her four year studies, Tumanishvili invited her to join his theatrical company "Workshop of Cinema Actors".

Ia’s popularity grew rapidly; she became a role model for the young people in her home country Georgia.   At the Moscow 10th International Film Festival, the chairman of the festival, Robert de Niro, acknowledged her for being the most beautiful and promising future talent at the event.

In the 1990s she participated in the Georgian-American TV film directed by Greg Palmer - "The Falcon" - which was based on an old Georgian fairy tale. Later it was performed on stage at Seattle’s ACT theatre for the "Seattle Goodwill Games and Arts Festival".

In the 1990s, when unrest began in Georgia, she moved to the US. While finding her way through Hollywood’s thorny path to success, she studied with different acting coaches and speech teachers such as Joe Peshi, Jeff Corey, Julie Areola and Barry Primus. Soon her efforts paid off and she was hired for three  National commercials, music videos and a few small budget films. She also became a member of SAG. Barry Primus encouraged her to meet the legendary acting coach, Russian-born George Shdanoff. He was considered by many insiders as “Hollywood’s Best Kept Secret.” Although already 90 years old, George Shdanoff was still teaching Chekhov Teqnique at his LATC (Los Angeles Theatre Company).

Michael Chekhov and George Shanoff are considered two of the most notable theatrical minds of our century. Together they started to develop and experiment with new and radical principles of acting technique which dramatically differed from the popular Stanislavky Method. For several years they trained such luminary as Yule Brener, Patricia Neal, Gregory Peck, Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Anthony Quinn, Jack Palance, Leslie Caron, Robert Tylor, Zizi Jearnmaire and many others. As a result Chekhov dedicated to Shdanoff his classic book TO THE ACTOR - an inspiring guide for beginners to Oscar Award actors.

During five years of intensive work together, Ia was a student and then as an assistant to Mr.Shdanoff, who was impressed with her understanding and interpretation of the technique and appointed her the  co-director at the LATC.   During this period, the young assistanct and the old teacher agreed to renovate and adapt some of the Chekhov's Technique’s principles which seemed to be out-of-date and obsolete. Mr. Shadnoff accepted numerous drills that Ia recommended as additions to the technique as well as two distinctive approaches that she created, such as “the caveman strategy” and “color system”.

In 1993, Parulava organized George Shdanoff’s triumphal return to Russia, where he gave workshops in Moscow Stanislavsky Drama Theater for the elite of Russian actors and directors. With her support, the young director F. Keeve completed a documentary "From Russia to Hollywood" about two Russian emigrants, their friendship and the influence they exerted on Hollywood’s world of acting. After George Shdanoff’s death Ia fulfilled the last desire of her beloved teacher - to donate his memorabilia to the Moscow State Central Archive of Literature and Arts. She returned to Georgia in order to instruct Chekhov's method at her alma mater.

In the late 1990s, the political situation in Georgia was getting a bit better; the civil war was long over and there was a degree of safety in the country. She started to work for the 1st Channel, the state television station, and created a show - "My Fair Lady". The idea of the show was to give women complete makeovers and fashion advice, as well as support the social side of their life by helping them to find a job, solve marital problems,  seeking revenge on cheating boyfriends or husbands, revealing their most painful secrets publicly. This was the first time such a program was shown on Georgian television and it was very successful with television viewers. In 2002, during the Odessa 7th International TV  Festival "Velvet Season", the show received an award  "For High Professionalism" and  Ia, as the creator and host, received a prize for her emotional support to her heroines. Ia continued to work as an actress and appeared in two highly popular Georgian soap operas, "Night of the Tiny Stars" and "Before Sleep".

Parulava established herself not only as a popular actress and TV personality , but also as a woman of a great appeal, taste  and splendor which resulted in frequent interviews and TV appearances where she passing her knowledge for self grooming and care for Georgian women. As the result of her expertise, she created and produced the “Stunning Eyebrow’s” kit in order to assist women in Georgia add more charm to their appearance. “Stunning Eyebrows” is a fashionable and highly demanded item for beauty consumers in the health and beauty market.

After the Rose Revolution in Georgia and the 2003-2004 presidential elections, Ia initiated and produced a popular song New Day by gathering all Georgian music stars to support the elections of Mikheil Saakashvili, Ia’s classmate and close friend.

In 2005, the Russian Federation invited Parulava to Moscow to "The Best of the Bes"t award ceremony where she received the status of Russia’s Honorable Guest and a special prize, "the Treasure’s Guardian", in appreciation of her support of State Central Archive of Russia.   

Ia Parulava maintains a busy professional schedule, in addition to her volunteer work with organizations such as Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Center, Georgian Karate-Do Federation, Chveni Ezo-Organization of Community Support and Development. She teaches Chekhov's Technique at her experimental studio to young people. Simultaneously Ia is completing a book, the practical addition to the Chekhov's Technique. N. Khatiskatsi, T. Magalashvili, "Georgian Film"

L. Eliava, "Georgian Film"   

E. Zhgenti, "Georgian Film"  

N. Khatiskatsi, T. Magalashvili, "Georgian Film"  

A. Rekhviashvili, "Georgian Film"  

G.Chokhonelidze, "Georgian Film"  

N. Khatiskatsi, "Georgian Film"  

I. Maslennikov, "Lenfilm"

Arthur Borman, "Live Entertainment Inc."  

G. Shengelaia, "Georgian Film"

F. Keeve, "Keev Productions"  

A,. Enukidze, 1st Channel of Georgian TV  

O. Shamatava, L. Tseriashvili, 1st Channel of Georgian TV  

1st Channel of Georgian TV

G. Mgeladze "Georgian Film"

 Mengrelians in the World new
 Notable people of Samegrelo
    * Adamia Geno 
    * Alexandria Nana 
    * Basilaia Alexander 
    * Beria Lavrenti 
    * Chachava Maia 
    * Chachava Vazha 
    * Chiqobava Arnold 
    * Chkonia Etheri 
    * Chkonia Lamara 
    * Chkonia Natela 
    * Danelia Georgi 
    * Daraselia Vitaliy 
    * Eliava Giorgi 
    * Eliava Lia 
    * Eliava Shalva 
    * Gamsaxurdia Konstantine 
    * Gamsaxurdia Zviad 
    * Gotua Levan 
    * Gvazava Etheri 
    * Jordania Giorgi 
    * Jordania Joseph 
    * Jordania Vakhtang 
    * Kantaria Militon 
    * Khorava Akaki 
    * Khvitia Mikhail 
    * Kiziria Dodona 
    * Kordzaia Alexander 
    * Korsantia Alexander 
    * Kostava Merab 
    * Pachulia Zaza 
    * Papava Vladimir 
    * Parulava Ia 
    * Pirckhalava Irakli 
    * Shartava Zhiuli 
    * Shengelaia Eldar 
    * Sotkilava Zurab 
    * Sturua Robert 
    * Topuria Kako 
    * Tordia Radish 
    * Tsaguria Levan 
    * Tsurtsumia Lela 
    * Vekua Ilia 
    * Zhvania Zurab