Foreign Premieres of “They will Return” by Director Zaza Nanobashvili

With the blessing of Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch and direct participation of the clergy, the Anchiskhati’s canonical replica has been traveling to holy places and Georgian communities to make a pilgrimage. Traveling with the icon is informational literature and movies in different languages with the aim of familiarizing those overseas with Georgia and its sacred history.

The movies were created by the pilgrim team head of Anchiskhati, director Zaza Nanobashvili. Generally, the movies are about Georgian sanctuaries, the pilgrimage of the Anchiskhati canonical replica, and immigrants. The director illustrates specifically forgotten stories of Anchistkhati and Iveron in films which have been awarded at Orthodox Film festivals on numerous occasions (F/F in Kiev “Pokrov” and F/F in Batumi “St. Andrew’s Cross” – for the best presenting of sanctuaries and historical events).

Nanobashvili’s movies have been shown in more than 20 countries since 2008 in both Georgian and foreign communities.

In recent years, besides Film Festivals, the director has been invited to symposiums and conferences, visits, cultural and official meetings.

The documentary film “They’ll Return” Parts I and II is about immigrant life; how they left the country, about their reasons for not going back and the current demographic situation in Georgia.

Shooting began in 2008 with the pilgrimage of the Anchiskhati litany, mostly taking place in countries other than Georgia.

This year the group visited several European countries before Easter: In Prague - Charles University, in Karlovy Vary; the Serbian church in Frankfurt, in Belgium – Brussel’s Georgian Church and in Paris – the St. Nino Immigrants Temple.

By the blessing of the Georgian Patriarch, the icon was accompanied by Tbilisi-Tskneti’s priest Ioane (Okropiridze).

The group was received warmly and important meetings took place in which both Georgian and foreign students were involved, sharing their thoughts and impressions.

At every meeting, after movies showings and events, interviews were held.

The organizers of the meeting in Prague was the Iveria Community- namely Madina Kriz and Tamar Melikishvili.

In Karlovy Vary: Asmat Shamatava, through which the icon was invited to the Orthodox Church in Karlovy Vary.

In Frankfurt: the Serbian Church Father Marco and the group’s permanent host, Aleko Kalandarishvili.

In Belgium the Brussel’s Archbishop Dositeos blessed the showing of Nanobashvili’s movies about immigrants and the history of Anchiskhati in the Brussel’s Residence Hall of St. King Tamar. At the time, parliamentarian Guguli Maghradze was on a visit to Brussels and also attended the meeting. After watching the movie, she delivered a cordial speech to the parish. Archbishop Dositeos also made a speech and blessed guests after watching the movie.

And finally in Paris, with St. Nino church Father Archil’s blessing, the icon was placed in the Emigration Church of St. Nino. Immigrants of 1921 met the litany Anchiskhati with special honors and glory. This meeting was particularly important because the second part of the immigrant movie was exactly about the emigration of 1921.

Besides other various holy places, the litany Anchiskhati was also placed in Mount Athos and visited Iveron on the celebration of Iveria’s Virgin Mary icon.

Father Archil and Father Ioane conducted the church service of Anchiskhati for national welfare. The film crew shot very interesting material about the offspring of 1921 immigrants which will be put together for the next part of the upcoming premiere of the film and shown to large audiences. On his recent travels abroad, the director took interviews from many famous people and had an interesting meeting with Greek singer Iovanna which was later used in the second part of the film.

The group expresses its gratitude to organizers, representatives of embassies and hosts for the warm welcome and for its support of such important issues.

The biggest problem that the group faced was transportation of the non-standard size icon and the equipment of the crew. The airline Wizzair resolved this problem selflessly and gratuitously – (with the help of Tbilisi airport security service, Kutaisi airport and Wizzair’s employee Ms. Tamar Mshvenieradze.) This is the second time this airline helped the group. First from Warsaw and now from Budapest in both directions, thereby contributing to important work. The group expresses its profound gratitude to airline Wizzair and its management.

12 May 2016 18:55