Levan Koguashvili’s documentary takes Ukrainian festival prize

Agenda.ge, 31 Mar 2017 - 19:09, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian filmmaker Levan Koguashvili’s new documentary Gogita’s New Life has received praise of film professionals at the Docudays UA festival after taking the Special Mention of the event on Thursday.

The feature-length documentary screened at the Ukrainian festival highlighting works on human rights. The event ran in capital Kiev from March 24-31.

Koguashvili’s film was featured at Docudays UA among over 40 works by directors from across the world. Winners of the festival were announced on Thursday.

The festival jury praised the "remarkably beautiful frame and a consistent rhythm in the editing” of the work in their comments on the feature, noting the "completely engaging way” its story was presented by the director.

Koguashvili’s film tells the story of a Georgian man after his release following 14-year prison sentence in Georgia’s west. The plot centres around Gogita’s attempts to return to normal life and marry an acquaintance from the internet.

His wishes seem modest enough: a home of his own and then marriage to a nice woman. But who would be interested in a poor farmer and ex-con who still lives with his mother?”, asks the filmmaker’s preview for the film.

Koguashvili's film follows characters meeting through the internet in attempts to build new lives. Photo: ZagrebDox festival.

The 2016 co-production between Georgia, Ukraine, Croatia and Russia screened at the 21st edition of the Sofia International Film Festival in Bulgaria earlier this month and was also featured at the ZagrebDox festival in Croatia.

The Docudays UA festival also included another work by a Georgian filmmaker, with See You in Chechnya by Alexander Kvatashidze screened in the Docu/Rights section.

It was described by the director as a work about people’s lives affected by the notorious 1990s conflict in North Caucasus, which he witnessed first-hand at the age of 22.

Alexander Kvatashidze's documentary 'See You in Chechnya' is a personal story by the director. Photo: Docudays UA.

See You in Chechnya is a personal film about the intertwined stories of a group of war reporters. It's a film about how the experiences of those who survived continue to affect their lives today, about what war did to them,” said Kvatashidze about his work.

The film picked up the Open Doors Production and the ARTE Open Doors awards at the 2013 Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland.

It also claimed the HBO Europe co-production prize of the When East Meets West forum within the Trieste Film Festival in Italy last year.

The Docudays UA festival was first held in 2003 as Docudays on Human Rights. The festival aims to "promote popularization and development of documentary film and to increase of the level of respect for human rights in Ukraine”.

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