'And Then We Danced' nominated for European University Film Award

  • From left: director Levan Akin, actors Levan Gelbakhiani and Bachi Valishvili at the Directors' Fortnight festival in Cannes, where the feature premiered earlier this year. Photo: Directors' Fortnight.

Agenda.ge, 1 Oct 2019 - 16:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Filmmaker Levan Akin's feature And Then We Danced has been nominated for the European University Film Award, a prize by university students throughout Europe.

The recently released film by the Swedish director with Georgian roots is one of five works selected for this year's nomination, with ultimate winner to be announced at the end of the year.

The feature will vie for the honour with Teona Stugar Mitevska's God Exists, Her Name is Petrunija, Piranhas by Claudio Giovannesi, Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Sciamma and System Crasher from director Nora Fingscheidt.

And Then We Danced has been picked as Sweden's submission for the next Academy Awards and collected honours including Best Actor Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival for Levan Gelbakhiani and the Best Film Award at the Carl International Film Festival.

Akin's work shows Merab, a young performer in the Georgian national dance company develop intense attraction to newcomer Irakli.

Portrayed by Gelbakhiani, Merab is "thrown into an emotional storm of both strong desire and jealousy for his new companion" (Carl International Film Festival), with the encounter between the two male performers unfolding in the conservative dance company.

In the words of the director, the feature is "an exploration on discovering and owning your own truth and channelling it through expression", with Akin labelling the work his "most personal film yet".

Premiered to the public at the Directors’ Fortnight festival in Cannes in May, the Swedish-Georgian-French co-production casts Bachi Valishvili in the role of Irakli, the other protagonist.

Akin was born in Stockholm to parents who emigrated from Georgia to Sweden in the 1970s. His debut feature Certain People (2011) was nominated for the Best Film Award of the Stockholm Film Festival, with Yohanna Idha receiving the Best Actress Award for her part in the film.

The European University Film Award was established in 2016 and is presented by the European Film Academy and Filmfest Hamburg.

The five nominated films were selected by producer Carlo Cresta-Dina (Italy), EFA Board Member Joanna Szymańska (producer/Poland) and university representative Dagmar Brunow (Linnaeus University, Sweden).

The selected works will be screened and discussed at 25 universities in as many countries, with each selecting their favourite. The eventual winner will be announced in December and the prize awarded on the eve of the European Film Awards on December 7.