Filmmaker Zaza Urushadze remembered at Georgia's US embassy cinema screening

A still from 'Three Houses', a feature set in three different eras and featuring a cast of Georgian actors. Photo via IMDB., 20 Dec 2019 - 18:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

Award-winning late film director Zaza Urushadze was remembered in Washington, DC on Thursday where the latest edition of Georgian Embassy Movie Series events screened his 2009 feature Three Houses.

The series' final screening of the year marked the legacy of the Georgian cinema professional, who died unexpectedly at the age of 53 earlier this moth, with the film that cast a selection of Georgian actors in a generational drama.

The feature was introduced to an audience by Embassy Public Affairs Counselor Sofia Gegechkori, who also spoke about Urushadze's work in cinema, which has been distinguished with festival prizes, an Academy Awards nomination and a membership at the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Screened at the 32nd Festival of World Cinema in Montreal, Three Houses follows characters in three separate stories from the 19th century, World War II years and contemporary times.

The incidents revolve around a mysterious painting - titled Two Owls - first seen at a chateau where a man presents it as having been painted by his wife, who has passed away some time ago.

The artwork then pops up during the middle of World War II when it is found by a woman in the apartment of his husband's lover.

The general of the Red Army was recently found dead [at the apartment] in the arms of his concubine. Torn between ambiguous feelings of grief and anger, the widow has to make a decision. She also needs to retain her composure as the military police are already waiting outside," a summary for the feature said.

Finally, Two Owls is at the centre of a modern-era triangle where a young woman wants it back as a memory of her grandmother, the author of the painting. The work has been acquired by a stranger who is not wishing to part with the piece, placing the boyfriend of the painter's granddaughter in a dilemma of whether to steal it.

The Georgian embassy's series are hosted by the diplomatic office and the Georgian National Film Centre. Classics and contemporary works by Georgian directors have been screened within the programme in Washington, DC every month.

Urushadze's links with the US cinema scene included his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which he joined in 2015. The director was among personalities including global acting superstars Emma Stone and Benedict Cumberbatch who were invited to join the institution.

The invitation followed the nomination of his Estonian-Georgian co-production Tangerines for an Academy Award the same year.