Batumi Art-House Film Fest reveals feature, documentary programme

The festival has become associated with the seaside city over its 12 editions since the 2006 launch. Photo: BIAFF., 29 Aug 2018 - 18:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Select works by acclaimed directors will be screened alongside a celebration of Georgian cinema anniversary at this year’s Batumi International Art-house Film Festival in the seaside city next month.

Ahead of the 13th edition of the festival that honours experimental and avant-garde cinema, organisers have unveiled their programmes for feature and documentary works.

In the feature competition section, visitors will be treated to films by notable directors including Sergei Loznitsa (Donbass), Wolfgang Fischer (Styx) and Tinatin Kajrishvili (Horizon).


These and other titles of the programme will be judged by an international panel headed by Sergei Rakhlin, Chairman of  the Foreign Language Film Committee of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Over in the documentary competition, eight films from Talal Derki’s Of Fathers and Sons to Shevaun Mizrahi’s Distant Constellation will be screened.

They will be assessed by judges led by documentary filmmaker Vitaly Manski (Under the Sun, Pipeline) and selected for the Best Doc Film and Jury Special Mention prizes.

One award-winner of the event is already known, with Georgian director of photography Lomer Akhvlediani (Autumn Sun, The Tree of Wishes) set to be honoured with the Special Prize for Contribution to Cinema.

This year’s BIAFF will also mark the 110th anniversary of the Georgian cinema — celebrated country-wide this year — with a screening of the 1929 feature My Grandmother by director Kote Mikaberidze, known for his silent works during the Soviet era.

A still from Tinatin Kajrishvili’s ‘Horizon’, which screened at Berlinale and Sarajevo Film Festivals. Photo: Sarajevo Film Festival.

The screening of the silent work will be augmented with a musical performance by award-winning pianist Dudana Mazmanishvili, who is based in Germany and has appeared on major international stages.

Hosted at the Batumi State Musical Centre, the special screening session will open the festival on September 16.

Other screenings will be held at the Apollo Cinema Theatre, the Hotel Wyndham Conference Hall and the Open Air Cinema Theatre on the Black Sea city’s Era Square.

The complete feature and documentary section programmes can be viewed on the official website of the festival here

Established in 2006, the festival has grown its programme from the initial 35 films screened within the first edition.

Last year’s cinema event awarded Loznitsa the Grand Prix for his work A Gentle Creature.