European migrant stories, Georgian mining city realities come to Global Migration Film Festival in Tbilisi

A still from 'Three August Days', a short by Madli Lääne that looks at an "unlikely friendship" between two young people during the disintegration of the USSR. Photo via Palm Springs Film Festival., 12 Dec 2019 - 18:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

Stories of recent migrants to Europe, residents of Georgia's grim mining city and youth in the realm of the Soviet Union's dissolution will bring empathetic views of displaced people through the Global Migration Film Festival in Tbilisi starting this Friday.

Held to about 30,000 viewers in 100 countries in parallel screenings, the festival's Georgian edition will bring to its audience documentary and fiction works by filmmakers Georgian director Vakhtang Jajanidze.

Among over a dozen selections set to be go to the big screen at the Amirani Cinema Theatre in the capital will be Exodus by Jajanidze, a look at two middle-aged sisters Lili and Tatiana from western Georgia's industrial city Chiatura.

With opportunities for a better life few and far between in the city, one of them receives a chance to leave the grim reality of the location and move to her daughter in another town. A story of emotional connection between the sisters unfolds in the run up to the day of their farewell.

Greek director Nikos Pilos will bring his short Dying for Europe, a look at the "largest tide of migrants since the Second World War", with stories from individuals placing their lives in danger by risking to reach the promise of a better future in Europe.

The International Festival of Mediterranean Documentary and Reportage called the work a "harrowing film [that] sheds light on the strength and hope" of migrants featured in it.

A look at a different historical episode will be offered in Three August Days, a 2018 fiction drama by Estonian director Madli Lääne following two young people in tumultuous days of August 1991 when Estonia declared independence from the disintegrating Soviet Union.

Amid the tense and intimidating atmosphere, an Estonian girl gradually develops a friendship with a Russian boy over a common interest" - Global Migration Film Festival

Works on subjects and protagonists ranging from a Chinese immigrant to the United States (The Way Home) to an exploration of the future steps for Italy after the country's reception of numerous migrants in the last decade (I Migrati) are in the programme set to run at the Amirani venue.

Films picked for screenings are received by around 100 local offices of the International Organisation for Migration - the United Nations Migration Agency - with specific programmes devised for local runs of the festival.

In Tbilisi the festival's run will be hosted along with a display of photographic stories of Georgian migrants by Dina Oganova, recipient of the 2017 European Union Prize for Journalism in Georgia.

The Global Migration Film Festival was launched by the IOM in 2016 in a move to provide a look at realities of migrants and benefits they bring to communities in their new places of residence. It is also seen to normalise "discussions of migration through storytelling" at screening locations ranging from cinema theatres to impromptu settings.

The Georgian edition of the event will run between December 13-18 at the Amirani venue, located at 36, Merab Kostava Street in the capital.