Seaside city Batumi set to celebrate auteur cinema with 2017 BIAFF festival

  • This year’s festival will screen around 80 works from Georgian and foreign directors. Photo: BIAFF., 15 Sep 2017 - 16:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

Auteur films by famed cinema names and established contemporary directors will attract audiences to this year’s Batumi International Art-House Film Festival (BIAFF) to Georgia’s Black Sea coast starting this Sunday.

Opening with George Ovashvili’s latest feature Khibula, the festival will go on to screen around 80 works by directors from 30 countries.

The program will feature 10 films in the Feature Films Competition section, with nine works in the Documentary Films Competition section and 25 selections for the Short Films Competition.

Beside the three major sections, the event will showcase the Masters Collection section dedicated to films by celebrated directors including Andrey Zvyagintsev and Aki Kaurismaeki.

Special Screenings will invite cinema enthusiasts to see five films by directors from Iran and Georgia, while the Georgian Panorama section will specifically showcase local cinema talent.

Finally, 14 short works will be part of the European Film Academy's Short Matters! section, presenting creations by filmmakers of the continent.

A scene from the feature ‘A Man of Integrity’ by Mohammad Rasoulof. Photo: Cannes Film Festival.

The festival will involve three international juries, with acclaimed Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf heading the judges assessing works in the Feature Films section.

Georgian filmmaker Alexander Rekhviashvili will lead the Documentary Films Competition jury, while Safar Haqdadov of Tajikistan will chair the Short Films Competition team.

Batumi’s Cinema Apollo, Hotel Wyndham Conference Hall and open-air cinema on the city’s Era Square will host screenings during the 2017 festival.

Director Matthew Heineman’s documentary ‘City of Ghosts’ follows a group of undercover activists under ISIS rule in Syria. Photo: City of Ghosts film website.

The BIAFF was launched in 2006, with the aim to "become the premier international film festival in Black Sea region”.

The annual cinema event is held in the second half of September and hosts master classes and other events beside film screenings.