Mari Gulbiani’s ‘Before Father Gets Back’ honoured as Best Documentary at Peruvian fest

Young friends Iman and Eva, growing up in a remote village in Pankisi Valley, are the focus of the documentary. Photo:, 13 Jun 2019 - 17:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian filmmaker Mari Gulbiani’s feature Before Father Gets Back has collected the Best Documentary Award at the Festival de cine Al Este, an annual event in Peru focusing on cinema from Central and Eastern Europe.


After having its international debut at Britain’s Sheffield Doc/Fest Documentary Festival earlier this month and also screening at the Balkans’ leading Sarajevo Film Festival, the work was honoured at the South American event on Monday.


Gulbiani was represented in the Documentary Competition section along with award-winning filmmakers including Berlin International Film Festival-winning Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Rotterdam International Film Festival winner Anna Eborn and Sundance Film Festival nominee Tonislav Hristov.


The Georgian director’s documentary look at two young friends in Georgia’s north-eastern Pankisi Valley earned the award that comes in the wake of plaudits from the other festivals.



Before Father Gets Back follows Iman and Eva, Muslim girls growing up in the province under social hardship and often hit with religious turmoil.


In the background also complicated with regional political tensions, the two girls discover a local cinema screening as a window to freedom.



[For] Iman and Eva [...] the experience becomes a turning point and inspires them to take the camera and start filming their daily lives” - Sheffield Doc/Fest Documentary Festival.


Produced by Tekla Machavariani, the Georgian-French-German co-production is also described as a "film about friendship, longing and separation”.


The Al Este festival, based in Peru since 2008, places its focus on what it calls a “profitable cultural exchange with South America” for cinema from Europe’s ‘New East’.


Beside screenings, the event has also hosted sections for film professionals that have involved internationally acclaimed directors including Bela Tarr and Pawel Pawlikowski.