Georgia selected for Guest Country honour at Valladolid Film Fest

A still from 'House of Others', Rusudan Glurjidze's winning feature of the East of the West section of the 2016 Karlovy Vary Film Festival, set to be screened in Valladolid. Photo:, 15 Oct 2019 - 17:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

From pioneering director Kote Mikaberidze's silent classic My Grandmother to contemporary works by award-winning filmmakers including Nana Ekvtimishvili and Otar Iosseliani, Georgian cinema will enjoy a special status at Spain's Valladolid International Film Festival opening this Saturday.

The festival audience will find nearly two dozen Georgian films in the Guest Country format, with panel talks about Georgian cinema and a presentation of a book about the subject giving it further exposure at the event.

Considered a major celebration of auteur cinema in Spain, the focus section of the festival - held in the north-western city - will offer a contemporary retrospective with films produced over the last two decades.

Filmmaker Salome Alexi's 2014 feature 'Line of Credit', premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival - is one of over 20 works in the focus country programme:


[The selection features filmmakers including] Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, who bagged Berlin’s CICAE award for In Bloom (2013); George Ovashvili, the recipient of a Crystal Globe at the Karlovy Vary Festival for Corn Island, (2014); or Ana Urushadze, an award-winner at Locarno and Sarajevo for her feature-length film Scary Mother (2017)" - Valladolid Film Festival

The Guest Country screenings include both fiction and documentary works, with feature and short films presented in the programme.

A particular artistic focus will be placed on Mikaberidze's 1929 work, set to screen with live music by a trio of artists led by Tbilisi State Conservatoire rector and jazz musician Rezo Kiknadze.

The cover of the bilingual book on Georgian cinema, involving text by three Georgian film critics and set to be presented at the Spanish festival. Photo: Georgian National Film Centre.

In addition to the focus section, the 64th edition of the festival will have further space for Georgian cinema through the screening of And Then We Danced, a Swedish-Georgian-French co-production that premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight festival in Cannes in May, in the competition section.

The drama by Swedish filmmaker Levan Akin will bring the Sarajevo Film Festival Best Actor Award-winning performance by Levan Gelbakhiani to the big screen in Valladolid. The feature itself has been selected as Sweden's submission for the next Academy Award for the Best International Feature Film.

Keti Machavariani and Nutsa Aleksi-Meskhishvili, two Georgian women directors, will also serve as judges on jury panels at the Spanish event, while a bilingual book about Georgia's cinema scene - involving text by film critics Lela Ochiauri, Zviad Dolidze and Irina Demetradze - will be presented to the public.

The Georgian focus programme will be presented at Valladolid festival, which has been held since 1956, in partnership with the Georgian National Film Centre. The festival itself will run between October 19-26.