SECTION: Spotlight: Georgia

A dream destination between the chic Black Sea coast and the rugged mountain landscapes of the Caucasus, Georgia has always been regarded as something special and West and East alike. Artists such as Pirosmani and Paradjanov, who was born in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, and directors like Otar Iosseliani, Eldar Schengelaia and Nana Djordjadze made international film history. There is a quote attributed to Federico Fellini, which sums up the diversity of Georgian cinema: "Georgian cinema is a completely unique phenomenon – vivid, philosophically inspiring, very wise, childlike. There is everything that can make me cry and I ought to say my crying is not an easy thing."

To this day, Georgian cinema is an amalgamation of myth, objectivity and irony. The country has again become a regular guest again at international film festivals after hardly any films had been produced in the 1990s as a result of the bloody conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The country has successfully relied on a number of years on having co-productions with Western countries. This year saw Georgia as the guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair. A reason for the FilmFestival Cottbus to have a small sidebar casting a spotlight on Georgia’s current film scene as well as aspects of its eventful history: from Georgi Schengelaia's early literary adaptation ALAVERDOBA through Gio Mgeladze's NO, PAL, which in 1993 pointedly captured the tragic tensions in his country in a nutshell, and early short films by such international star directors as George Ovashvili and Nana Ekvtimishvili to current social portraits like MOIRA by Levan Tutberidze and NEIGHBORS by Gigisha Abashidze. BB

For more information about Georgian cinema, please visit our FESTIVALKatalog.

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