27 protesters detained for disobedience, misconduct during premiere of gay-themed film in Tbilisi, Batumi

24 individuals were detained in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, while three individuals were detained in the Black Seaside town of Batumi, the Georgian Interior Ministry reported. Photo: 1TV

Agenda.ge, 09 Nov 2019 - 12:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Interior Ministry announced late last night that 27 individuals were detained for “non-compliance with a lawful order or demand” of the police and “disorderly conduct” during the premiere of a Swedish-Georgian-French co-production And Then We Danced  in Georgian cinemas.

24 individuals were detained in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, while three individuals were detained in the Black Sea town of Batumi.

Amirani Cinema in Tbilisi has been the main venue of confrontation as right-wing groups, opposing to the film screening, had gathered to hinder cinema goers from entering and watching the film on gay protagonists.

Watch Radio Liberty's livestream of right-wing groups gathering in front of Amirani Cinema last night  where the film was being premiered:


However, the ministry said the film screening "ran as scheduled" in all of the six cinemas on November 8.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched investigation on 4 cases related to the incidents, which took place during the demonstration in parallel to movie screening”, the ministry stated.

An individual, identified only as Sh.Sh., born in 1984, was also detained for injuring a gay-rights activist Ana Subeliani near the Amirani Cinema.

Two police officers, who were also injured during the clash were also taken to hospital.

Investigation is also underway over the assault of a Republican party leader David Berdzenishvili, who came to Amirani Cinema to support cinema goers ahead of the film premiere yesterday.

Video and photo materials depicting incidents are being studied with the aim of identifying offenders and ensuring respective legal response”, the interior ministry stated.

It however noted that police will ensure public safety and order during the film screenings scheduled on November 9 and 10 as well, as the leaders of the groups opposing to the film screening, threat to gather again.

Businessman Levan Vasadze is among those, who opposed to the premiere, who consider that it is against Georgian and Christian traditions and values and popularises "the sin of sodomy". Photo: Radio Liberty

The film directed by Levan Akin, which has been picked as Sweden's submission for the Best International Feature Film competition at the next Academy Awards, premiered at Tbilisi and Batumi cinemas yesterday.

Premiered to the public at the Directors’ Fortnight festival in Cannes in May, the film shows Merab, a young performer in the Georgian national dance company develop intense attraction to newcomer Irakli.

Akin wrote on his Instagram page that "the Georgian audience finally got to see the film".

This fight is far from over and I am so inspired and moved by all the brave movie goers who stood their ground and would not be intimidated”, he said.