North America's major Hot Docs Festival selects documentary by filmmaker Keko Chelidze

A still from 'Dead Souls' Vacation' by director Keko Chelidze. Photo via Parachute Films., 15 Apr 2020 - 15:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

A new documentary by filmmaker Keko Chelidze will have its international premiere at the next edition of Hot Docs festival in Canada, when the event postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak goes ahead at a new date.

Promoted as North America's largest documentary festival, Hot Docs was originally scheduled to run between April 30-May 10 in Toronto, however the situation with the pandemic has meant its postponement to a yet-to-be-confirmed date.

Organisers are deliberating over the form of film screenings and other festivals too, however in the meanwhile they released their official selection on Tuesday.

Among the documentaries picked for screening is Dead Souls' Vacation, a feature-length work by Chelidze produced at Tbilisi-based Parachute Films.


It follows Levan Svanidze, a 45-year-old musical artist now living in a shadow of his former recognition in the scene, spending days in a single apartment with his mother.

Lamara occupies herself with her son’s meals and appearance and regales him with the same stories about her late husband and her love for Stalin on endless repeat.

Distraught over who Levan might be seeing when he does venture out to sell his CD, she calls his cell phone ceaselessly until he returns" - Myrocia Watamaniuk, Hot Docs

Selected for the Changing Face of Europe programme of the festival, the film is an "expertly observed mother–son chronicle" about family dysfunction and post-Soviet life, observed Myrocia Watamaniuk for her summary for Hot Docs.

Produced by Kote Kalandadze and Elene Margvelashvili, the 67-minute work also features cinematography by Kalandadze.

The full selection of 2020 Hot Docs festival can be viewed here.