Giorgi Shvelidze becomes first Georgian nominee for American Society of Cinematographers awards

Shvelidze worked on cinematography for Zaza Khalvashi’s new feature ‘Namme’. Photo: Georgian National Film Centre., 08 Jan 2019 - 16:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

Cinematographer Giorgi Shvelidze has become the first Georgian film professional to be nominated for the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) annual Outstanding Achievement Awards, as the shortlist for the prize was unveiled earlier today.

In an announcement streamed live on social media, individuals selected for five prize-winning categories — from Theatrical Release to TV episodes — were named by the organisation.

Shvelidze, the cinematographer for Georgia’s Academy Award bid Namme by Zaza Khalvashi, was revealed as one of three shortlisted creatives in the Spotlight Award.

He will compete with Frank van den Eeden (Girl by Lukas Dhont) and Joshua James Richards (The Rider by Chloé Zhao) for the honour.

Namme premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival last November and was picked as Georgia’s submission for the Academy Awards.

The feature centres around a young girl in a remote location in Georgia, entrusted with overseeing a healing water spring by her father.

By taking up the task Namme continues the family role, however a hydro power station constructed nearby heralds environmental changes for the area.

An unexpected development sees the spring water disappear one day, with Namme’s father remembering an old custom that says it will only return if sacrifice is made for the cause.

Khalvashi’s work is currently screening at an anniversary Palm Springs International Film Festival in California.

While the nomination has marked the first selection of a Georgian creative by the ASC, last year’s Spotlight Award featured Gorka Gomez Andreu, a Spanish cinematographer who worked on Georgian director Rusudan Glurjidze’s award-winning feature House of Others.

Winners for ASC nominations will be named next month in Los Angeles, as the organisation marks a a centenary of its founding.