National Archives preserves films by prominent director Otar Iosseliani after digitisation in France

  • A still from Iosseliani's 1966 work 'Falling Leaves'. Photo via National Archives of Georgia., 12 Feb 2021 - 18:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

Some of the most notable cinema works by prominent Georgian filmmaker Otar Iosseliani will be preserved at the National Archives of Georgia after undergoing digital retouching in France, the Tbilisi venue has announced.

Films including the 1982 Berlin International Film Festival prize-winning Pastorale, 1966 feature Falling Leaves and 1970 work Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird have become part of the national archival fond, preserving the legacy of one of the lauded names of the Georgian cinema.

The National Archives said 21 films in total, from fiction to documentary titles produced in Georgia and France - where Iosseliani has worked extensively - had been safeguarded after being scanned and digitally touched up and moved to a high-definition DCP format.

Produced between 1950-2015, the film selection also includes Favourites of the Moon (1984), Hunting the Butterflies (1992) and Gardens in Autumn (2006), and join notable works by other directors who made up the body of the internationally recognised Soviet-era Georgian film scene.

Iosseliani's film legacy has been marked in retrospective programmes over the recent years, including Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato festival in 2019 and the 2015 Locarno International Film Festival.

The Tbilisi-based archival venue has over 36,000 film rolls in its vaults, in addition to works in digital format. These range from the 1912 Journey of Akaki by director Vasil Amashukeli - considered to be the first Georgian feature film - to recent cinema releases produced during the country's independence since 1991.