Nikozi Animation Film Festival marks war anniversary with screenings, displays

A photograph from the project ‘Creeping Borders’ by Tako Robakidze., 03 Sep 2018 - 18:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

A Georgian village that found itself in the midst of the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia is hosting a celebration of animation art within the International Animation Film Festival Nikozi.

Enthusiasts and professionals of animation cinema have been convening in the Episcopal Palace in the village of Upper Nikozi for three days since the festival launched on Saturday.

In its eighth edition, the event has included a wide-ranging programme of screenings, music performances, photo exhibitions, workshops and meetings.

See the trailer for filmmaker Daria Zimina’s animation ‘Locker’ below:

A particular focus of the displays has been on the 10th anniversary of the war that raged near the village.

The date has been marked with a short film about Nikozi during the conflict, as well as a show of photographs on the same subject.

The normal programme of the festival offers a flavour of German cinema, with animated works by Johen Kuhn, professor at the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy.

Students from the same academy have also taken an opportunity to show their films at the Georgian event.

The sub-programme is continued with children’s films from the Balance Film Studio and Fantasia Tickfilmstudio of Dresden, before Sylke Gottlebe, director of the Dresden Short Film Festival presents the best animated works of the german event on Wednesday.

The audience in Nikozi will also be able to view films from the Annecy Festival in France, while students from the Lodz Film School in Poland and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts also have a festival day to showcase their works.

Other screenings will include a display of the project Creeping Borders by Tako Robakidze — a work that has received international attention for its documenting of the life of residents near the administrative boundary separating the occupied region of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) from the rest of Georgia since 2008.

Directors Natalia Orlova, Tengiz Semyonov and Daria Zimina are present films of the Animos Studio, while Petre Tomadze’s work Tea will be a showcase of Georgian animation.

The closing day of the Nikozi event will see screenings of films by local directors Mamuka Tkeshelashvili and Nodar Begiashvili as well as Swiss creative Otto Alder, before the celebrated Gori Women’s Choir perform for the visitors.

The Nikozi festival was established by the Diocese Metropolitan of Tskhinvali-Nikozi, Isaiah Chanturia, who set up a small animation studio at a local monastery, later damaged in the 2008 war.

The studio was later brought back to life, with students now working on animation along with other forms of art at the venue.

The festival itself has been held in the village since 2011. In 2017  it received the Europe for Festivals — Festivals for Europe (EFFE) Label from the European Festivals Association, granting it further exposure to international audiences and companies.

This year’s edition of the festival is held between September 1-7. The full programme of events can be viewed on the official website here.