Filmmaker Alexandre Koberidze earns FIPRESCI film critics Berlinale award, critical acclaim

The premiere of Koberidze's feature came in the Competition section, marking the first time a film by a Georgian director has been picked for the main Berlinale programme in 18 years. Photo: Faraz Fesharaki/DFFB., 05 Mar 2021 - 15:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

Film director Alexandre Koberidze has added prize recognition in addition to plaudits from cinema critics after his feature What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? earned the FIPRESCI international film critics association award at the Berlin International Film Festival on Thursday.

Screened in the competition section of the first part of this year's two-phase Berlinale festival, the work received the FIPRESCI prize designated for the Competition section, with a 12-member international jury selecting Koberidze's film for the honour.

The award follows the auteur director's 2018 German Film Critics Association Prize at that year's edition of the German festival. It also comes with the first selection of a film by a Georgian filmmaker for the main Berlinale programme in 18 years.

At the 71st edition of the festival, Koberidze's German-Georgian co-production had its world premiere alongside works by directors including Hong Sangsoo, Dénes Nagy and Daniel Brühl.

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 first phase of the 71st Berlinale hosted its online industry event and awards this week, with a screening part to be run between June 9-20.