Tbilisi Pride Week opens with screening of award-winning feature by director Elene Naveriani

  • The local LGBTIQ+ community, diplomatic corps and representatives of international and local organisations were present at the launch of Tbilisi Pride. Photo: UNDP Georgia

Agenda.ge, 29 Jun 2022 - 14:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

The programme for this year’s Tbilisi Pride Week kicked off on Tuesday in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi with a screening of Wet Sand, an award-winning feature by director Elene Naveriani.

The local LGBTIQ+ community, diplomatic corps and representatives of international and local organisations were present at the launch event for screening the feature that earned the Best Actor Award at last year’s Locarno Film Festival.

Following the screening, the United Nations Development Programme in Georgia tweeted saying the film - a Swiss-Georgian co-production that follows its protagonists in a Black Sea coastline town - represented a message of "support and hope" to the LGBTIQ+ community in Georgia.

Bahia Tahzib-Lie, the Human Rights Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands, also tweeted following the event:

Swedish Ambassador Ulrik Tideström commended the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs on doing a "very good job" in ensuring safety of the audience at the launch event, on the backdrop of threats issued by right-wing and conservative groups ahead of the Pride Week.

The protesting groups were present in the vicinity of the event, with police mobilised for security. Law enforcement was reported to have removed an individual from the location a few hours before the event. 

The Interior Ministry said it would take "all appropriate measures" to ensure safety of participants during the programme of events included in the Pride Week, adding it was in “constant communication” with organisers to ensure safety for the event.

The Ministry’s statement followed concerns expressed by organisers over a series of threats made by the far-right Alt-Info media platform - involved in last year’s attacks on reporters who had gathered to report on the eventually cancelled Tbilisi Pride events - as well as the Conservative Movement political party.

This year’s edition of Tbilisi Pride is organised without a public March for Dignity due to safety concerns, instead opting for a programme involving screenings, a regional conference and a Pride Festival in closed venues.

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