Filmmaker Mariam Chachia’s documentary debuts at top German festival

A scene from filmmaker Mariam Chachia's documentary 'Listen to the Silence'. Photo from DOK Leipzig., 24 Oct 2016 - 19:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian filmmaker Mariam Chachia's new documentary Listen to the Silence will premiere at Germany's largest international documentary and animated film festival next week.

Starting October 31, the eastern German city of Leipzig will host the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, also known as DOK Leipzig.

Featuring dozens of films from around the world, the 59th edition of the festival is expected to attract around 1,700 guests and screen works in eight distinctive sections.

See the teaser for the documentary 'Listen to the Silence' below:

One of the major sections is the Next Masters Competition; in this section visitors can view 11 documentary works from 13 countries including Georgia.

One of the seven female directors to feature in this section was Georgia's Mariam Chachia, whose film Listen to the Silence will make its world premiere at the festival.

Her feature-length documentary will be one of nine works having their international debuts.

Chachia's work follows residents of a Georgian school for deaf children who spend their year learning dance by memorising the beat via touch.

A central character of the film is Luka, a young boy who tries to channel his energy into creative activity.

Festival organisers said Chachia "chose a stunningly simple form for her tale of this unlikely place".

Between the chapters we see the school, the children, quarrels, Luka happy and unhappy, a little love story. And the silence," wrote DOK Leipzig's preview about the film.

This year's DOK Leipzig festival pays homage to Russian producer and director Marina Razbezhkina. Photo from DOK Leipzig.

The 11 works of the Next Masters Competition will compete for the Golden Dove prize awarded by Russian producer and director Marina Razbezhkina, who is also founder and head of the Moscow School of Documentary Film and Documentary Theatre.

DOK Leipzig organisers said this year's festival would pay homage to Razbezhkina's work in documentary filmmaking.

Beside the Golden Dove award, Chachia's film has also been nominated for the MDR Film Prize from the German public broadcaster Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk.

Chachia graduated from the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgian State University and has worked as director and scriptwriter on documentary projects.

She is currently working on her next documentary work Abastumani.

Founded in 1955, DOK Leipzig was regarded as the oldest documentary festival in the world.

Its organisers staged screenings, media promotion, training for "young talents as well as experienced filmmakers" and networking opportunities for film industry.

This year's DOK Leipzig festival will run until November 6.