Tbilisi International Film Festival opens on December 1

The President directed by the master of Iranian cinema Mohsen Makhmalbaf will open 15th Tbilisi International Film Festival.
Agenda.ge, 19 Nov 2014 - 17:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

Film lovers in Georgia are eagerly awaiting the arrival of winter in Georgia and the 15th annual Tbilisi International Film Festival (TIFF).

The annual festival will present current local and international films for one week beginning December 1 – the official start of winter.

The 15th annual TIFF is regarded as one of the most important cultural events in Georgia. Professional meetings, screenings, industry panels, master classes and retrospectives actively support the talents and creative visions of young and accomplished filmmakers, organisers said.

In its 15 year history, the festival has hosted more than 700 film directors, producers, actors, film experts and documentary filmmakers.

This year The President, a Georgian-French-British-German joint venture directed by the master of Iranian cinema Mohsen Makhmalbaf, will open the Tbilisi International Film Festival on December 1.

The 2014 film starred about 50 Georgian actors and was filmed in Georgia, including Georgian actors Misha Gomiashvili and Ia Sikhithashvili, who played the leading roles in the movie.

 The President is tells the story of a dictatorship regime and its tragedies before and after a revolution. The film was shot in Georgia at the beginning of this year and has recently been edited and completed in London.

Film director Makhmalbaf left his country nine years ago in protest to the pressure of censorship in Iran. Since then Makhmalbaf and his filmmaking family continued working in India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Israel, Georgia, South Korea and others and completed a number of feature films and documentaries.

Makhmalbaf is expected to come to Georgia and introduce his film at the festival.

Meanwhile, an exciting aspect of the TIFF is the international competition, which is being contested by about 10 films with first-time European directors.

On a local note, two Georgian films will participate in the TIFF. The festival’s youngest participant Lasha Tskvitinidze will debut his film I am Beso in the International Competition section, while Line of Credit  by Salome Alexi Meskhishvili will also be shown.

Georgian-born French director Marie Amashoukeli will visit Tbilisi with her film Party Girl, which received the Camera d’Or award this year at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Ukrainian film The Tribe,which won the Grand prize of the Cannes Film Festival critic’s week 2014 will also be shown at the TIFF.

Traditionally the festival will sum up the year of art house cinema and will offer numerous interesting events to the audience apart from presenting the finest works of the year. Meetings with famous filmmakers and Industry Professionals, Master Classes and Conferences will be held alongside the screenings for the whole of the seven days, the official TIFF website said.

Forum of European Cinema is traditionally the biggest and most popular section of the festival. Its selection includes the most significant works of the year. The winner of Cannes’ Palme d’Or, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep will be presented in this category by its producer Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan.

Similarly, the Cannes Film Festival Grand prize winner, Alice Rohrwacher‘s The Wonders and a new 3D film of French legend Jean-Luc Godard Goodbye to Lanuage are also included, as well as other award winning films.

The TIFF offers two official prizes - Best Film (Prometheus) and Best Director (Silver Prometheus). The award statues were designed especially for the festival by well-known Georgian artist Tamar Kvesitadze.

Festival officials said TIFF was privileged to host honorable international filmmakers such as Bob Rafelson, Mike Leigh, Leos Carax, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Hugh Hudson, Christopher Hampton, Greta Scacchi, Krzysztof Zanussi, Istvan Szabo at this year’s event.