Alexandre Koberidze's feature among Int'l Film Critics Federation 2021 nominees

  • A still from Koberidze's Berlinale-premiered feature. Photo via Georgian National Film Centre., 11 Aug 2021 - 18:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

Alexandre Koberidze's Berlinale-screened feature What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? is one of five nominees in the International Federation of Film Critics' (FIPRESCI) Best Film of 2021 selection.

The young director's work - awarded a FIPRESCI prize at the Berlin festival earlier this month - is now a candidate to be named the film body's annual Grand Prix.

The feature from the Georgian filmmaker is nominated alongside works from directors like Chloe Zhao, winner of two Academy Awards, and Thomas Vinterberg, a nominee for the Oscar. The full list of nominees is as follows:

  • Another Round - directed by Thomas Vinterberg
  • Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn - directed by Radu Jude
  • Nomadland - directed by Chloé Zhao
  • Quo Vadis, Aida? - directed by Jasmila Zbanic
  • What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? - directed by Alexandre Koberidze

Screened in the competition section of the first part of this year's two-phase Berlinale festival, the feature was picked for the FIPRESCI prize by a 12-member jury team.

The selection of the feature in the 2021 festival marked the first time in 18 years that a film by a Georgian filmmaker had been picked for the main programme. The award also followed the auteur director's 2018 German Film Critics Association Prize at that year's edition of Berlinale.

Featuring Georgian actors Ani Karseladze, Giorgi Bochorishvili and Vakhtang Fanchulidze as protagonists, the film brings the filmmaker's look at romantic partners waking up one day with changed appearances and losing contact with one another as a result.

The work has been called a "slyly inventive, free-ranging adventure in cinematic possibility" (ScreenDaily) on its premiere, while the Berlinale summary for the premiere noted "it is the poetry of aimlessness that enables Alexandre Koberidze to make visible and narratable in cinema everything that we rarely perceive in the reality of our everyday lives".

The Film Critics Federation will reveal the winner of their Grand Prix at the opening gala of the 69th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival on September 17.