Acclaimed filmmakers Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross were singled out for their directorial work on their new feature My Happy Family with the Best Director prize at the Sofia International Film Festival on Sunday.
The award-winning duo went under the spotlight of the event hosted in the Bulgarian capital and emerged as recipients of one of the principal awards of the international competition section.
Running from March 9-19, the festival screened My Happy Family among 13 feature films of the section, with other categories showcasing top documentary, short and local works.
The award for the two directors of the German-Georgian-French co-production follows the recent critical acclaim of their work since the film’s debut at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in the United States in December 2016.
Last week, Ekvtimishvili and Gross were named among nine emerging filmmakers to watch by The New York Times, with critic Manohla Dargis noting the two filmmakers "could choreograph a ballet, but, lucky us, they’re filmmakers”.
My Happy Family follows Georgian literature teacher Manana on the eve of her birthday as she announces to her family and relatives that she will be moving to live separately from them.
The feature by Ekvtimishvili and Gross was awarded at the 21st edition of the Sofia festival. Photo: My Happy Family film Facebook page.
The script details the experience of several generations living under the same roof, with conservative family traditions set against the independently-minded principal character.
After premiering at Sundance the feature also screened at the Berlinale festival in Germany’s capital last month.
My Happy Family also became the first Georgian film to be picked up by popular online cinema platform Netflix for global distribution. The Georgian National Film Centre said the feature would become available to viewers in 130 countries across the world through the deal.
A scene from Levan Koguashvili's documentary 'Gogita's New Life'. Photo: Sofia International Film Festival.
The 21st edition of the Sofia International Film Festival also screened another work by a Georgian director within its competition sections.
Filmmaker Levan Koguashvili’s work Gogita’s New Life was part of the festival’s International Documentary Competition. The co-production between Georgia, Croatia, Russia and Ukraine viewed by the event’s audience on March 15.