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Friday, June 25

*** First Lady Sandra Roelofs held a special meeting at the President’s Palace dedicated to International Children’s Day on June 1. The National Agency for Protecting the Cultural Heritage also arranged a visit to famous Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani’s house museum for the students of Tbilisi Art Institute, where the young painters were introduced to Pirosmani’s working environment.

*** The Pierre Cardin Centre in Paris hosted the Days of Georgian Culture from June 4 to June 9. A musical evening called Half an Hour of Georgian Film and Theatre was conducted by famous Georgian conductor Nika Memanishvili and the Georgian National Symphonic Orchestra. Giorgi Ushikishvili and his folk song group Lashari also performed. The Pierre Cardin Hall exhibited masterpieces of famous Georgian artists such as dresses, costumes and models from Georgian films and plays of the 20th century. A special film festival was also held on June 5-7 where the Georgian films “Jinshanta”, “Magdana’s Lurja”, “Me, Grandmother, Iliko and Illarion” and “Keto and Kote” were shown to the French public.

*** Various Species, One Planet, One Future was the motto of International Environment Day on June 5, which Georgia contributed to. The Street Musicians held a concert at the Radisson Hotel to entertain visitors to a photo exhibition about the wide spectrum of wild animals in our country. Students of the Art Institute painted the faces of young environment protectors while their parents were given various pot plants as souvenirs. Tbilisi Event Hall presented a wonderful fashion show on a green carpet. Models wearing Tata Vardanashvili’s special dresses made from artificial fur and natural materials highlighted the importance of the environment. The day was celebrated outside Tbilisi too and the regions offered their citizens a variety of activities aimed at conserving nature.

*** The National Cinema Centre returned from the Cannes Film festival with new plans on June 5. The opening of the Georgian pavilion and the 11 days of activities there involved Georgia in important modern cultural processes and promoted the country’s name. National Cinema Centre staff held meetings with foreign colleagues and established an action plan for cooperation. Around 40 organisations will further business relations with our country in order to develop its cinematography.

*** The official dates of the Tbilisi International Movie Festival were named as 6-12 December, by the Prometheus Movie Art Centre on June 4. The festival will be held with the assistance of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Monuments Protection and Georgia Invest. 100 new films will be shown and a special jury will award two main prizes, the gold and silver 'Prometes'. The partners of the Tbilisi International Movie Festival are foreign Embassies and cultural centres. Interest from the private sector is also high.

*** The National Ballet at the Tbilisi Opera House led by world famous Georgian prima ballerina Nino Ananiashvili held a gala concert to close the season at Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theatre on June 7. The troupe began a three-month tour to the US on June 9, where they will participate in the Spoleto and Jacobs international festivals, performing Giselle, Duo Concertante by George Balanchine and several pas de deux by Frederick Ashton among other pieces.

*** Georgian painter, sculptor and architect Zurab Tsereteli wants to construct a building taller than the Eiffel Tower. Tsereteli, who is currently living in Moscow, shared his dream with the media at the New York Art Club on June 8, saying that the 400-metre tall monument project is being worked on. “Madison Avenue has a very positive effect on me and the NY heat makes me feel as if I were in my homeland – Georgia,” Tsereteli told the media, explaining the economic benefits of his new “obsession”.

*** Dmanisi-based folklore ensemble Shgerida held a concert at Tbilisi Conservatoire Hall on June 9 as part of the project Intermigration and Ethno Cultural Traditions. In the 80s of the last century many families left for the Svaneti region as a result of natural disasters and settled in Dmanisi, where the ensemble was created to preserve of ancient Svanetian folklore traditions. Several old songs restored by the ensemble members were presented at the concert.

*** The Art Gene Festival of Georgian folklore traditions opened at Tsinandali on June 12. The festival was dedicated to the Georgian language and writing this year, the best repositories of oral and written folklore experience bestowing their knowledge on the public. The festival offered its guests some special tours to the Georgian regions on June 16-20 while the closing ceremony was held at the Ethnographic Museum.

*** The Iberia Festival of Georgian Culture opened in Leiden, Holland on June 12. The event, organised by the Dutch fund Artecho, was supported by First Lady of Georgia Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs. The festival exhibited the work of Georgian artists of the 1950s and a wide spectrum of Georgian films and workshops on Georgian traditions and culture. The festival ended on June 20.

*** Film producer Nana Jorjadze screened a 5-minute film called I Love You - Moscow at the Film Festival in Sochi. The festival consists of 18 such 5-minute films in the Russian language and ran from June 6 to June 13.

*** The Opera and Ballet Theatre closed its season in traditional fashion with the famous opera Daisi (Sunset) by Zakaria Paliashvili on June 14. The concert was conducted by Revaz Takidze with the participation of the State Theatre troupe and orchestra. Nino Chachua, Elene Janjalia, Irakli Kakhidze, Vakhtang Jashiashvili, Gia Asatiani and Tamaz Saginadze played the various parts at the Great Hall of the State Conservatoire.

*** The photo exhibition Save Khevsurian House at the National Folklore Centre concluded on June 15. In the 50s of the last century the massive migration of Khevsur families to the lowlands created the serious danger that highland Khevsurian culture could disappear. The houses of the Khevsuris in the photos are partially derelict. The aim of one week exhibition was to help Khevsurian culture survive and get people interested in this.

*** The Shota Rustaveli State Theatre premiered a play by Giorgi Tavadze called The Moon Up in Smoke on June 16. The leading members of its company took part.

*** As usual Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Cinema University opened the student film festival Amirani at the end of the academic year on June 19. This year 57 films from 14 countries were featured and the members of jury were public figures from different organisations. Mikheil Kobakhidze, a famous Georgian producer living in France, was among them and he also gave masterclasses in film production. The jury bestowed five main awards on June 20. This event, established in 2007 aims to introducing the films of young producers to their colleagues and thus gives them a wonderful opportunity to gain experience and support..

*** Tbilisi celebrated the birthday of legendary English musician Paul McCartney with a concert at Vake Park organised by the Rock Club on June 19. Georgian group BLITZ, led by Valeri Kocharov, has won awards for being the best Beatles tribute band six times in Liverpool and was listed among the three best Beatles tribute bands in the world between 1988-95, being declared a British band by the British Government in 1994. All BLITZ band members have been given special Liverpool citizenship and they performed in Vake Park with Nali Band, Comic Condition, UR, etc. Georgian fans will have an opportunity to wish McCartney a happy birthday through the video of this event.

*** A 13-year-old Georgian girl living in Kyiv, Keti Shamugia, won first prize at an international music competition in Bulgaria on June 20. Winning this competition, called “The Sun, Beauty and Joy”, will enable Keti to participate in similar ones in other countries.

*** The 105th edition of Shota Rustaveli's legendary epic The Knight in the Panther's Skin, a reproduction of an XVIII century edition of the work, was presented at the National Manuscript Centre on June 23. The manuscript is richly illustrated with miniatures.

*** The premiere of Robert Sturua’s latest play will be held in Moscow on September 25. The Georgian producer has been working on William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” at the Moscow Et Cetera Theatre for the last four months. Sturua, who is leaving for Moscow to finish working on the play on September 1, said that he has met people with different approaches to Georgia after the August War 2008 during his work with the theatre.

*** Georgian Public Broadcasting (GPB) has launched the procedure to select the Georgian representative at Junior Eurovision 2010. Talented children from throughout Georgia between the ages of 10 and 15, will take part. Individuals or groups of up to 6 members applied with recordings of their songs in Georgian, the songs being less than 2 minutes 45 seconds long. The entry should be written especially for the contest. Minsk will host Junior Eurovision 2010. For more information about the contest see