Director Keti Machavariani collects Hot Docs festival prize for 'Sunny'

  • Machavariani's documentary follows a social research interviewer as she enters homes and asks Georgian families questions on social topics, identity, human rights and more. Photo via Hot Docs., 11 May 2021 - 16:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

Film director Keti Machavariani has earned praise for her documentary Sunny after juries of Hot Docs - the largest documentary festival in North America - selected the film for an honourable mention at the event.

The feature-length documentary, selected for development platforms at ParisDOC and International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam last year, had its world premiere at the Canadian festival and earned the Honourable Mention of the Best Mid-Length Documentary category.

Screening in the World Showcase programme, the 2020-released film was called "nuanced and stylishly composed" and praised for a "disarmingly honest view" of Georgia's social and political realities.

In the feature Machavariani shows an interviewer working on social research visiting ordinary families of the country to ask questions about their views on human rights, minorities, identity and more.


From the constellation of interview responses, an intriguing portrait of a post-Soviet state comes together. Nuanced and stylishly composed, this behind-the-scenes look at Georgia offers a disarmingly honest view inside a country that remains relatively unknown in the West

- Vivian Belik, documentary filmmaker and producer

Sunny is produced by Tsisana Khundadze and Nato Sikharulidze and involves cinematography by Giorgi Shvelidze - winner of the American Society of Cinematographers Spotlight Award - as well as Giorgi Pailodze and Gigi Samsonadze.

At its production stage, the documentary was selected for the 2020 industry platform of ParisDOC in partnership with Georgia's CinéDOC-Tbilisi International Documentary Film Festival. Two years earlier the project won the 2018 Civil Pitch section of the CinéDOC festival and was the recipient of the Open Society Georgia Foundation Special Prize at the event.

In September Machavariani's work was also picked for the Bertha Fund of the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam for development support, and was part of Baltic Sea Docs' Forum for Documentaries, in addition to receiving Best Project Award in the industry section of International Documentary Film Festival Beldocs in Belgrade.

The Georgian filmmaker's previous work includes Salt White, screened at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic and the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.