Cultural institutions and officials of Georgia on Thursday sent their messages celebrating the 90th birthday of Eldar Shengelaia, an acclaimed film director who produced some of the most iconic works of the domestic cinema scene across decades.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said in Shengelaia, Georgia was “proud to have a world-class film director who has made the Georgian cinema famous” internationally.
Eldar Shengelaia's contribution to Georgian cinema is immeasurable and priceless. His work, so beloved and praiseworthy to all of us, has a special place in Georgian cinematography”, Garibashvili said in his congratulatory message.
The Georgian Film Academy extended its congratulations by praising the filmmaker’s body of work, which it said was “loved by viewers of all generations both in Georgia and abroad”.
The National Parliamentary Library marked the date by posting Soviet-era posters for some of Shengelaia’s most recognised films, including the 1983 political satire Blue Mountains, or Unbelievable Story, the 1968 An Unusual Exhibition and the 1964 White Caravan on social media.
In its reaction to the date, the National Archives of Georgia paid homage to the former feature, showcased at the famed Cannes Film Festival in 2019, 55 years after its first screening at the French event in 1964, by releasing its earlier interview with the director about the work.
The archival venue will also celebrate Shengelaia’s birthday by hosting a five-day screening of a retrospective of his films next week.
Born in 1933, the Georgian director began producing films starting in the late 1950s and released features as recently as his 2017 work Chair, however a majority of his most recognised films were shot in the 1970s and 1980s.
The domestic and international recognition of his work also led Shengelaia to serving as a jury member for the 1986 Venice Film Festival.
Awarded Soviet state prizes for cinematography, including the titles of the People’s Artist of Georgia in 1979 and People's Artist of the USSR in 1988, Shengelaia was also honoured with the Shota Rustaveli State Prize of independent Georgia in 1998 and the title of the Honorary Citizen of Tbilisi last year.