Levan Gelbakhiani claims Sarajevo Film Fest award for best actor

Actor Levan Gelbakhiani collected his award in Sarajevo where the feature by Levan Akin screened in the main competition section. Photo: Obala Art Centar.

Agenda.ge, 23 Aug 2019 - 15:45, Tbilisi,Georgia

Actor Levan Gelbakhiani, cast as the principal protagonist of the newly released feature And Then We Danced by filmmaker Levan Akin, has been unveiled as the winner of the Best Actor Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

The Georgian actor was on stage in the Bosnian capital to collect the prize for his part in the drama, one of four films from Georgia screened at the major regional festival.

The prize, formally known as Heart of Sarajevo for Best Actor, comes with a money prize and marks an early success for the feature that brings a personal story to the big screen.

In Akin's work, an encounter between Gelbakhiani's character — a dancer at a Georgian national troupe with conservative traditional heritage — and a newcomer to the ensemble leads to mutual attraction between the two young men.


The relationship unfolds on the backdrop of the masculine performance group as Merab, played by the Sarajevo award-winning actor, "finds himself having to break free and risk everything", a summary from the festival said.

The Swedish-Georgian-French co-production casts Bachi Valishvili in the role of Irakli, the other protagonist, with photography from Lisabi Fridell.

Part of the competition section, And Then We Danced screened at the Balkan festival in three sessions. The feature premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight festival in Cannes in April.

Akin, a Swedish-based director with Georgian roots, was featured at the event beside Georgian directors Irina Jordania, Rati Tsiteladze and Petre Tomadze.

Jordania's short 12 K Marx Street was part of the short competition section, with Prisoner of Society by Tsiteladze and the animation Night Session from Tomadze also in festival sections.

The Sarajevo Film Festival comes to a close on Friday.