Rezo Chkheidze, creator of prominent Georgian film on WWII dies

Beloved Georgian film director Rezo Chkheidze passed away this morning aged 88. Photo by Toro., 04 May 2015 - 13:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

A prominent Georgian film director who was behind one of the most popular Georgian movies about World War II has died.

Internationally renowned film director Rezo Chkheidze passed away this morning aged 88 after suffering from a severe illness.

During his long career the Georgian film icon was awarded several prestigious international film festival awards at the Cannes Film Festival, Moscow International Film Festival and more.

Today, people across Georgia are paying their respects to Chkheidze and remembering his contribution to Georgian film.

This morning Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili expressed sadness following the announcement of Chkheidze’s passing. He said Chkheidze was extremely "valuable” to Georgia, a beloved person for all Georgians, and he had left "many masterpieces” to his country.

It is sad that our adored film director has gone from us but his creations and contribution to Georgian cinema will last forever. I express my condolences to the family of the late Chkheidze, his loved ones and to all Georgians," Garibashvili said.

Chkheidze directed 12 films and a television mini-series between 1953 and 2008.

His black and white World War II-themed drama, titled Father of a Soldier [Jariskatsis Mama] and another film named The Saplings were entered into the Moscow International Film Festival in 1965 and 1973, where both films won a Diploma.

Another film titled Magdana's Donkey [Magdanas Lurja], which Chkheidze co-directed with another prominent local director Tengiz Abuladze, won the Best Fiction Short award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956.

In 2013 Georgia honoured Chkheidze’s contribution to the Georgian film industry. In this respect, the country’s Ministry of Culture presented a star in Chkheidze’s name in front of the Rustaveli cinema complex on May 29, 2013.