A selection of some of the most notable Georgian films, from a Soviet classic to contemporary releases, will be screened at Brussels’ BOZAR Centre of Fine Arts in a new festival launched by the venue next week.
Five works by Georgian directors will be part of Bridges. East of the West Fest launched in the Belgian capital.
Films from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine have also been selected for the program of "the cinematographic treasures that emerged following the collapse of the Soviet Union”, said organisers.
These countries, freshly freed from Soviet aesthetics and ideology, are drawing their identity heritage from the history of Europe and Russia, and have been proposing for a few years a prolific cinema with very different tastes”, said the preview.
The three-part program will have focus on Ukraine, "with its militant cinema”, Georgia, "with its social and introspective” filmmaking, and other countries of Europe’s East.
Films selected for the Georgian part of the program will include Blue Mountains, Eldar Shengelaia’s 1983 satire on bureaucracy. The feature's relevance in the late Soviet era made it part of the 1985 Directors’ Fortnight selection for the Cannes Film Festival.
Mariam Khatchvani’s feature work ‘Dede’ will follow a young woman in Georgian highlands. Photo: bozar.be.
The rest of the selection features films from independent Georgia, released from 2015-2017.
When the Earth Seems to be Light, an award-winning documentary by Salome Machaidze, Tamuna Karumidze and David Meskhi, will feature a group of young Georgian skaters with their dreams and aspirations of freedom.
The audience attending the screening of director Rezo Gigineishvili’s latest feature Hostages will see a dramatised account of a 1983 hijacking of a Soviet airliner by a group of young Georgians looking to flee the life under the regime.
Mariam Khatchvani’s feature Dede will be shown at the Brussels festival less than two months after it claimed the Grand Prix of the Cannes Film Meetings competition.
‘Hostages’ is a dramatised version of a true story of 1983 hijacking of a Soviet airliner in Georgia. Photo: bozar.be.
The film follows Dina, a young woman in Georgia’s remote, mountainous Svaneti province, where her grandfather has agreed for her to be married to a young man coming back to the village from war. Dina however falls in love with another warrior returning from the conflict.
Set to run from January 17-21, the Georgian cinema program will also present emerging director Ana Urushadze’s widely acclaimed feature Scary Mother, a recipient of awards at Sarajevo Film Festival and Locarno International Film Festival.
Scary Mother casts actor Nata Murvanidze as a housewife who decides to read her first complete work of writing to her family, only to be confronted with controversial reception.
Screenings of the selected works will also involve Q&A sessions with their creators, as the organisers promise a "unique chance to discover on the big screen a little known cinema in the presence of its filmmakers”.