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Tbilisi’s Film Festival Reveals Best Films Selected by International Jury

By Mariam Chanishvili
Wednesday, December 13
Besides showing masterpieces, 18th Tbilisi International Film Festival, which took place in the capital of Georgia on December 4-10, offered film-lovers the opportunity to meet and attend Q&A sessions of international and local directors.

One of the most exciting parts of the annual festival is the International competition, in which 10 - 12 films produced by local and European film directors debut.

The films for International Competition are usually estimated by a five-member jury: British Director Uberto Pasolini is the Head of jury, while other members of the jury are Film Critic and Program Coordinator at Seattle International Film Festival Maryna Ajaja (USA), Director Srdjan Dragojevic (Serbia), Actor Stephane Rideau (France), Literature Critic and Actor Lasha Bakradze (Georgia).

For this year’s festival the European Union for Georgia dedicated a special prize to the film with a focus on Human Rights. The film was selected from the ten films. The jury included experts from governmental and non-governmental organizations and film critics. The prize to the best film featuring human rights was granted at the closing ceremony on December 9. Later, on December 10 the winner film was screened for 200 beneficiaries of the EU and National Film Center’s joint project “Film in Schools.” The age of target audience was 12-18. The screening was followed by a moderated discussion.

The screening of the human rights film to the young audience from different regions of Georgia coincided with the World Human Rights Day observed every year worldwide.

The winners of this year’s Tbilisi International Film Festival have become Jens Assur's drama “Ravens” winning the Golden Prometheus for the best film and Milad Alami’s “The Charmer” winning the Silver Prometheus for best directing.

”The Charmer” also received the EU Human Rights in Film award, which has been presented at the film festival for the first time. Mikolaj Bekasiak, Communication Attache at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia noted he hoped this award would become a regular feature in festivals in the future.

The Film “Scary Mother” by emerging Georgian film director Ana Urushadze has won the national competition for the best feature film. Urushadze's award-winning feature was among 10 debut works of the principal section of this year's Tbilisi International Film Festival. Two other Georgian directors also received awards at the festival. Rati Oneli who directed “City of the Sun” was awarded the prize of best documentary and Margo Zubashvili’s “Ana” was named as the best short film.

A selection of works by German directors marked the ongoing anniversary of Georgia’s diplomatic and cultural relations with Germany in the section Apollo — Cinema Memories.

Tbilisi International Film Festival was first held in 2000 within a larger Art Festival framework “Gift,” which had numerous supporters and sponsors. The festival had an interesting and diverse program at that time. In 2002, the festival faced a closure threat and a group of co-thinkers (Gaga Chkheidze, Nino Anjaparidze, Lasha Bakradze, Davit Bukhrikidze, Besik Danelia, Guga Kotetishvili, Gaga Lomidze and Giorgi Kajrishvili) decided to set up the Cinema Art Center “Prometheus” to maintain the project alongside other Arts projects. In 2002, the Cinema Art Center “Prometheus” organized the first International festival with relatively small budget, which later grew into the celebration of many national and international talents.