Classic short films by Otar Iosseliani, Sergei Parajanov and more part of Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato fest

  • A still from “Arabesques on the Theme of Pirosmani” by Sergei Parajanov. Photo: National Archives of Georgia., 18 Jun 2019 - 18:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

Four Soviet-era short films by Georgian directors will be on the big screen in Italy’s north starting this Saturday, as the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival brings classics by Otar Iosseliani, Goderdzi Chokheli, Sergei Parajanov and Bidzina Rachvelishvili to cinephiles.


In the Recovered & Restored section of the festival that aspires to “act as a time machine”, the documentaries daring back to the 1970s and 1980s will be screened at the Sala Scorsese hall of the Cineteca Bologna venue.


The section will introduce viewers to the 1964 work Cast Iron by Iosseliani, one of the most acclaimed Georgian directors of the second half of the 20th century, as well as The First Foot, a 1981 short by celebrated author Chokheli.



The two films will be joined by Arabesques on the Theme of Pirosmani by Parajanov — whose works have been included in screenings across Europe over the past few years — and Bread Makers, a 1970 film from Rachvelishvili.


A preview from film curator Ehsan Khoshbakht called the Georgian mini-programme in Bologna as "some of the most dazzling, hauntingly poetic films" of the cinema celebration.


The four screenings will be introduced to the audience of the Italian fest by Nino Dzandzava of the National Archives of Georgia, where the shorts are physically preserved. The Tbilisi-based venue was also the location where the four films were digitally restored over the past two years.


About 400 films are screened at annual editions of Il Cinema Ritrovato, with musical accompaniment to some of the films provided by composers and artists while juries assess in-competition works.


Promoted as a “grand museum of film”, this year’s festival will run between June 22-30.