The 16th International Film Festival Begins

Here we go! The event that is largely awaited by all generations of Georgians and foreigners, already a bench-mark in spite of the great financial problems Georgian cinematography faces today: the Tbilisi International Film Festival (Prometheus) has started, due to the enthusiastic creative and technical team, dedication to the world cinema and wish to support the new generation of Georgian directors. Over 100 films will be shown from November 30 to December 6.

The festival was opened on November 30, by the Georgian movie by Levan Tutberidze titled “Moira”, present on the official list of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of the foreign-language film contenders among 81 countries overall.

The most large-scale annual cinema occasion based in Tbilisi chooses one topical issue. This year’s Prometheus mainly focuses on women’s issues. A separate bloc is dedicated to women’s vision and their problems. The team of the festival aim to boost public discussion on gender equality, violence against women, realization of women in politics, social or cultural spheres, feminism, women’s cinema and women in cinema. The organizers also aim to share information and widen the network inside the South Caucasus region between appropriate gender experts and people in charge of cinematography. The international jury is also headed by a lady – Martha Fiennes from Great Britain. There are two more female judges: Pnina Blayer from Israel, Artistic Director of Haifa International Film Festival, and Nutsa Alexi-Meskhishvili, Georgian director. The remaining two jury members are men: Pitter Scarlet, a film historian from the US, and Alik Shpilug, a film critic from Ukraine.

As per tradition, the mainstream is an international contest, this year featuring films like: ‘Youth’ – which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Festival and was nominated for a Palme D’or, ‘Goat’ – a Slovakian movie and a competitor in the best foreign films at the Oscars ceremony, and ‘45 years’- starring Charlotte Rampling and directed by Andrew Haigh, which was given 98% out of the total 100 on the Rotten Tomatoes web-site.

The organizers believe that young directors need special help and material aids, as well as recognition and prizes. “Prizes are important for a director’s further career as well as for the film’s future, as awarded films are always more commercially attractive,” said Gaga Chkeidze, Prometheus General Director.

Mikheil Giorgadze, Minister of Culture and Monument Protection, stated that expectations should not be too high “considering our tight budget,” adding that they plan to create a format to boost closer cooperation between the Georgian business circles and cinema.

The Georgian panorama is very colorful and represents full-length movies, as well as short films and documentaries and a national competition will be held in all three nominations.

This year, Prometheus offers a new bloc titled ‘Cinema for Social Change’ - an international film project dedicated to presenting documentary and feature films focused on essential political and social issues facing people today.

The festival has set other prizes too: two extra Prometheus for special contribution to the development of cinema, which is set to become traditional – one will go to a foreigner and one to a Georgian cinematographer. It has already been voiced who will be the holders or these prizes: the Georgian female director Lana Ghoghoberidze, and 60 year old Harutiun Khachatrian, an Armenian director who founded the ‘Golden Apricot’ film foundation and Yerevan Film Festival. There is also one more reward named after Georgian-born great Armenian director Parajanov that will go to a selected film for its particular cinematographic aesthetics.

Besides the sections mentioned above, the European Forum, Made in Germany, Horizons, French Collection and Country in Focus: Switzerland, as well as Cinema Memory, Animations, and Special Screening are being offered. Traditionally, the golden Prometheus will go to the best film and the silver one – to the best directing. Watch this space for the latest news on the Tbilisi International Film Festival, and visit us at

Maka Lomadze

03 December 2015 21:31