Nikozi Film Festival cancelled due to pandemic for second year running

The most recent edition of the festival was hosted at the Nikozi Episcopal Palace, the customary location for the event since its launch. Photo via International Animation Film Festival Nikozi., 12 Aug 2021 - 18:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

The 2021 edition of the International Animation Film Festival Nikozi has shared the fate of its predecessor, with organisers announcing their decision to cancel the event on the backdrop of a sharply worsened pandemic situation in Georgia.

On Thursday, the organising team revealed on Facebook they had made a decision to "postpone the 10th, anniversary [festival] to a more viable time", explaining the move through the recent rising number of cases across the world and "understandable" aversion to travel for prospective visitors of the event.

The anniversary festival was first cancelled last year for the same reasons, with the team originally planning to move the festival dates to September of this year.

The small but popular festival received the Europe for Festivals - Festivals for Europe (EFFE) label from the European Festivals Association in 2017, granting it exposure to international audiences and a wider cinema industry.

It was established by the Diocese Metropolitan of Tskhinvali-Nikozi, Isaiah Chanturia, who set up a small animation studio at a local monastery, later damaged in the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.

The studio was later brought back to life, with students now working on animation along with other forms of art at the venue. The festival itself has been held in the village since 2011.

Earlier this year, a competition for the project of Nikozi Art Palace, a brand-new venue set to serve as a cultural hub in the locality, revealed its winners, with the festival organisers expected to move their event to the premises after its completion.