Award-winning author Aka Morchiladze will become the first Georgian writer to have their work pitched at a literary section of the upcoming Cannes Film Festival this spring.
Morchiladze’s 2011 novel obOle will be presented before cinema professionals at the festival’s Shoot the Book! event with a prospect of its adaptation for a screenplay.
The novel narrates the story of a Georgian playwright, finding himself immersed in memories from the past upon his return to an old house in the countryside for the first time in many years.
A cover for Morchiladze's novel selected for the Cannes pitching session. Photo: Georgian National Book Centre.
[Irakli, the protagonist] discovers in the attic the long-forgotten Obole — an old, beautifully worked flintlock gun [...] from a time when weapons were like women, when dignity and honour and stories of such things still mattered.”
These stories soon have such a hold over Irakli that the picturesque past merges imperceptibly with the present. But when the leading part is played by a gun, one cannot but wonder when the shot will be fired”, said a summary of the work from the Georgian National Book Centre.
obOle was first shortlisted for the festival section among 10 other literary works from Georgia by the Book Centre in November.
Morchiladze’s book, printed by Sulakauri Publishing, was ultimately selected from the candidates to be pitched at the upcoming cinema event.
Organised by the Civil Society of French Language Editors (SCELF) since 2014, the Shoot the Book! section involves presentation of books "chosen for their potential as screen adaptations for film, television and other digital formats”, said the organisation.
Mochiladze, born Giorgi Akhvlediani, is recognised as one of the prominent authors of contemporary Georgian fiction.
He has published over 20 novels and short story collections since his celebrated 1992 work Journey to Karabakh.
Mochiladze’s work on the Georgian literary scene has been recognised with awards including the Saba Literary Prize for Novel of the Year in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2012.
The selection of his novel for prospective film adaptation at the Cannes festival follows the success of fellow Georgian author Dato Turashvili, whose book Another Amsterdam was pitched within a literary section of the Berlinale Film Festival’s co-production market last month.
This year’s Shoot the Book! pitching will take place within the Cannes Film Festival dates of May 8-19.