"Georgian film is a completely unique phenomenon, vivid, philosophically inspiring, very wise, childlike. There is everything that can make me cry and I ought to say that it (my crying) is not an easy thing." - Federico Fellini
"There has never been a better time to watch films made in Georgia. In the past two years the country can boast having produced several award-winning films and has replaced Romania as the former Soviet Bloc country where the most exciting films in the world are currently being made."
In the last few years, Georgia has consistently produced exciting alternative cinema. From the early days of transporting an unwieldy camera up to the high Caucasus mountains and the restrictive confines of the Soviet era, there has always been a tradition of outstandingly visual and stubbornly independent filmmaking. The characteristically innate need to tell their stories and preserve unique cultural values continues to drive Georgian filmmaking forward.
The 2022 festival will bring a selection of recent films, silent masterpieces and Soviet era classics. Under the title ‘Silence and Noise’, we are screening for the first time in the UK the first feature in Soviet cinema made by a woman, Nutsa Gogoberidze’s 1934 film Ujmuri (Cheerless). The film was banned and thought lost but rediscovered in 2018, and scored by Giya Kancheli, the great Georgian composer's last composition before he died on October 2nd 2019.
We are also screening Sergei Parajanov's first masterpiece Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors (1965). Born in Tbilisi in 1924, this is Parajanov's famous Ukrainian film shot in the Carpathian Mountains.
The festival opens Otar’s Death, a brilliant debut feature by Soso Bliadze, a tragicomedy that recalls Fellini’s description of Georgian film at its best "Georgian film is a completely unique phenomenon, vivid, philosophically inspiring, very wise, childlike. There is everything that can make me cry and I ought to say that it (my crying) is not an easy thing."
There are 2 contrasting contemporary love stories, Alexandre Kokberidze’s uplifting magical realist What Do We See When We Look At The Sky?, winner of the FIPRESCI prize in Berlin 2021, and the low budget Tazo Narimanidze’s Winter Blues, a very Georgian tale of modern life in Tbilisi and a small Georgian village. There are films of social struggle in contemporary Georgian society in the films of Elene Naveriani’s Wet Sand, Dito Tsintadze’s Inhale Exhale and Levan Koguashvili’s Brighton 4th.
We are delighted to welcome to London the renowned Georgian chess player Nona Gaprindashvili, the first woman to be awarded the title grandmaster. Tatia Skhirtladze’s documentary Glory To The Queen, portrays an era when 4 Georgian women dominated female chess for 3 decades and were a huge inspiration as icons of Soviet female emancipation.
We also welcome Merab Ninidze, for this year's Life Through Cinema masterclass 'From Rustaveli Child Star to McMafia Moscow Boss'.
The closing film is Amok (1927), the first adaption of a foreign literary work in Georgian cinema directed by Kote Marjanishvili. Based on a Stefan Zweig novella this outstanding silent film will be accompanied by a live score composed and performed by Vazha Marr and Gio Kuchukhidze.
Otar's Death 8.30pm 30th September
Nutsa Gogoberidze, the first woman to direct a feature in Soviet cinema - Cheerless (1934) 4.15pm 2nd Oct
Giya Kancheli, composer, who died 2nd October 2019
What Do We See When We Look At The Sky? Award winning uplifting love story set in Kutaisi 7.30pm 3rd October
Inhale Exhale 8.20pm 4th October
Merab Ninidze (in McMafia) will give masterclass 4pm 1st October
Life Through Cinema and British
Georgian Society present the
6th London Georgian Film
Festival at Ciné Lumière
30th September – 5th October 2022