Four Georgian works in Sarajevo Film Fest programmes

Actor Anastasia Davidson is cast as the protagonist in 'Bebia, à mon seul désir' by director Juja Dobrachkous. Photo via IMDB., 18 Aug 2021 - 16:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

Four works involving Georgian directors or production are on the big screen at the ongoing Sarajevo Film Festival, with short, feature and documentary productions selected for one of Eastern Europe's most important annual cinema events.

In the feature competition section, director Juja Dobrachkous' British-Georgian co-production Bebia, à mon seul désir brings a screenplay exploring generational ties - and an award-winning festival run - to Sarajevo. The work sees a teenage model returning to Georgia to attend the funeral of her recently deceased grandmother, only to be asked to fulfil a custom in homage to the memory of the grandparent.

Ariadna soon finds herself carrying a single line of thread across twenty-five kilometres of unspoiled Georgian countryside, accompanied by Temo, a young man and family friend of uncertain motives.

Traversing this exhausting and raw terrain over a number of days and nights, Ariadna is forced to confront the impact that the complex, sometimes cruel matriarch — Bebia — had on her not-so-distant childhood

- Sarajevo Film Festival summary

Dobrachkous has already been distinguished for the work - which features a cast of mostly Georgian actors - with nominations at the Rotterdam and Seattle festivals, as well as Best Director and FIPRESCI prizes at the Wiesbaden goEast.

In the documentary competition programme, organisers of the Sarajevo festival have been hosting the screening of Hot Docs Festival Honourable Mention recipient Sunny by Keti Machavariani.

Described at the Canadian event as "nuanced and stylishly composed" and praised for a "disarmingly honest view" of Georgia's social and political realities, the work 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.

In the Bosnian festival's In Focus section, young filmmaker Alexandre Koberidze is featured with his What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?, a feature unfolding around two recently met lovers after they wake up one day with changed appearances and lose contact with one another as a result.

Earning the FIPRESCI prize at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, Koberidze's feature has been called a "slyly inventive, free-ranging adventure in cinematic possibility" (ScreenDaily), 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".

Rounding off the Georgian selection in Sarajevo, the EFA Shorts 2021 Tour programme is the section where Irine Jordania's 12 K Marx Street, a 2019 work on an encounter with history is shown. The film, nominated for the 2020 European Short Film Award at the Black Nights Film Festival, also screened at the Sarajevo festival's past edition.

Jordania's short follows a protagonist who connects to a stranger - and to her childhood - after her phone call to a number she has been trying to reach is suddenly answered one day. The recipient of her call is a person from a home the protagonist's family had been forced to abandon after a war.

This year's Sarajevo Film Festival launched on August 13 and is set to close on Friday.