Director Rati Tsiteladze receives Locarno Festival co-production mention

Rati Tsiteladze photographed at the Locarno Film Festival. Photo: Justine Stella Knuchel., 14 Aug 2017 - 14:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

Filmmaker Rati Tsiteladze’s latest project The Empty House was distinguished at Switzerland’s major Locarno Film Festival with a prize supporting the ongoing development of the feature.

Tsiteladze’s work, currently in production, received the Special Mention of the Open Doors Locarno co-production platform of the prestigious festival that concluded last weekend.

The festival’s Open Doors platform involved filmmakers working on ongoing projects around the world.

Tsiteladze worked on 'The Empty House' with screenwriter Nino Varsimashvili. Photo: Rati Tsiteladze/Facebook.

Prizes for award winners and special mention recipients of the co-production section included cash awards as well as other forms of assistance for developing their works after the festival.

The Empty House follows a number of recent short film projects involving collaboration between Tsiteladze and actor and screenwriter Nino Varsimashvili.

Featuring a script by Varsimashvili, the feature follows a family in the civil war-ravaged Georgian capital of Tbilisi in the 1990s.

The plot centres around expectations and relationships between family members after the father of 11-year old Nino is released from prison to return home.

[The] house slowly turns into a battlefield and begins to crumble around her. Confronted with a reality bitter beyond her imagination, Nino leaves her childhood behind and prematurely becomes a woman”, said a summary of the work from ArtWay Film studio.

The feature is in production at ArtWay Film studio, founded by Tsiteladze in 2014. Photo:

Tsiteladze also personally featured in the Locarno Film Festival’s Filmmakers Academy, a segment bringing together 15 young directors from around the world.

The initiative was launched to involve filmmakers aged under 40 and with one or more short films, or one feature, under their belt.

The academy exposed its participants to "daily interaction with directors, producers and other industry professionals with an international profile”, said the festival’s organisers.

The Filmmakers Academy included screenings from participants, with the Georgian director’s 2015 short Mother featured in the section.

The Open Doors Special Mention marked Tsiteladze’s filmmaking work at what was the anniversary 70th edition of the Swiss festival.

It follows the Eurimages Coproduction Development Award for The Empty House at the Transilvania International Film Festival in Romania earlier this year.

The work-in-progress feature was also shortlisted for the Screenwriters Lab section of the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in the United States.