Georgia at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival – Review
მარტი 4, 2019

This year, the Georgian National Film Center made its 14th appearance at the Berlin International Film Festival. The Georgian National Film Centre and the Ministry of Economy agency “Enterprise Georgia” jointly presented an exhibit stand of Georgia at the European Film Market (EFM) organized within the frames of the Berlin International Film Festival.

The Georgian Pavilion hosted a number of meetings and, besides promoting Georgian films, it promoted the programme “Film in Georgia” among the foreign filmmakers interested in making their films in Georgia.

Within the frames of the European Film Market (EFM), Director of the Georgian National Film Centre – Zurab Maghalashvili, Head of International Relations Department – David Vashadze, a representative of Georgia at the EURIMAGES Council of Europe Cinema Support Fund – Tamara Tatishvili,  the Creative Europe Media sub-Program Manager – Levan Lomjaria,  Project Manager at the International Relations Department – Mariam Mariamidze and an Animated Film Producer Mariam Kandelaki were in charge of  industrial aspects of the Georgian Pavilion.

Meetings were held with the representatives of international film festivals, such as: the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Locarno Film Festival, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the San Sebastián International Film Festival. The director of the Cannes Film Festival – Thierry Frémaux – planned a visit to Georgia. Besides, it was decided that the country focus of the Valladolid International Film Festival this year is Georgia.  The UK partners of the Georgian National Film Centre project “Cinema at School” visited the exhibit stand of Georgia and discussed the future plans of the project within the frames of the Programme “Creative Europe”. It should be noted that the project “Cinema at School” is one of the beneficiaries of the Programme “Creative Europe”.

The premiere screening of “Armed Lullaby” – an animated film directed by Yana Ugrekhelidze was held in the Generation section of the Film Festival. The film director attended the screening of the film, and she, together with the film crew, presented her film to the festival guests. Yana Ugrekhelidze is a Georgian animated film director who lives in Germany. Her animated film “Armed Lullaby” tells about the conflict in Abkhazia through the eyes of a child. The film shows four children fleeing a fire-ravaged town through four different routes.

At the same time, two Georgian cinematographers – Natia Nikolashvili and Sandro Suladze participated in the Berlinale Talents – one of the biggest and most important networking platforms. Sandro Suladze presented his new film project “Watchmen” to the audience.

This year, within the frames of the Berlin International Film Festival, for the second time, the Georgian National Film Center organized additional meetings with the representatives of the cinema centers and film institutes of the following countries:  Norway, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Croatia, and Poland. The aim of the meetings was to facilitate coproduction between Georgian and foreign producers and film directors, for the purpose of attracting foreign investments in Georgian film industry. Nine projects of full length feature films, which had already obtained partial financing or were at a certain stage of development, were presented during the meetings.

The projects were presented by the authors of the projects before their foreign counterparts:

  1. “Child” (producer – Karlo Chikhradze)
  2. “Deacon” (producer – Giorgi Tavartkiladze)
  3. “Father” (producer – Elene Kolelishvili)
  4. “Gray Skies” (producer – Constantine Kalandadze)
  5. “Lisa is a Whore” (producer – Sopo Zhvania)
  6. “Quiet Mountain” (producer – Luka Beradze)
  7. “The Encounter” (producers – Nino Chichua and Ana Khazaradze)
  8. “Wedding on My Street” (producer – Vladimer Chikhradze)
  9. “Winter Depression” (producer – Valerian Kirkitadze)

In addition, a private screening of a new full length feature film “Namme”, directed by Zaza Urushadze, was held for representatives of different film festivals and distributors, as part of the section – Market Screenings.

The Berlin International Film Festival, which is one of the most important film events in the world, was held from 11 to 22 February this year.