First Georgian-directed 3D animation film set for release

The short animation film, titled 'Geno' features a toad as its principal character. Image from Geno Film/Facebook., 19 May 2016 - 17:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

The first ever three-dimensional (3D) animation movie directed by a Georgian filmmaker is being released next month after three years of development.

The short film, titled Geno,is a Georgian-German co-production directed by Dato Kiknavelidze and his team of around 20 Georgian creators.

The 12-minute animation has an important story to tell. Featuring a toad and other lake creatures, the film sends a strong message about environmental destruction at the hands of industrial development.

In development since 2013, Geno won that year's Robert Bosch Foundation Film Prize, which paved the way for its international promotion.

The film also involves characters who live in a small lake that are under threat from industrial development. Image from Geno Film/Facebook.

The film, co-produced by Lali Kiknavelidze and Lela Akiashvili of Georgia and Anne Kathrin Lewerenz of Germany, also won a 2014 grant for financial support from the Georgian National Film Centre.

Before its release, a preview about Geno was published by the prestigious digital animation website

The team working to create Geno developed around 200 individual scenes involving the principal character. The project also involved an original musical score by composer Zviad Ezugbaia.

Kiknavelidze told reporters he had decided to address the environment in the film after witnessing the disappearance of green areas in exchange for concrete buildings near his house, next to Tbilisi's Lisi Lake.

A scene from director Dato Kiknavelidze's short animation film 'Geno'. Image from Geno Film/Facebook.

With the film nearing the end of the production phase, German producers are now working to determine a date and place for its international premiere.

But even after Geno screens to audiences, its team will continue working hard on plans to transform the short film into a full-length feature piece.

Kiknavelidze's previous animation works includes the 2010 short film Vacuum, which screened at the Tbilisi International Film Festival.

The Georgian director holds degrees in art and animation and is art director at Lira Production studio.

See the trailer for the animation film 'Geno' below: