Program Outline of the 14th Tbilisi International Film Festival
Festival in Media

Tbilisi International Film Festival, one of the major cinematic events in Tbilisi, will open on December 2, 2013.Besides screening the world’s most recent and significant art-house works, the festival will as usual include many other important events. A program of interesting meetings with famous cinematographers and industry professionals, master classes and conferences is aimed to deliver an insider’s view of recent international and local art-house cinema and will continue for six days.

Levan Koguashvili's "Blind Dates" will be an opening film this year. The famous American director and head of this year’s International Jury, Michael Hoffman (“Gambit”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “One Fine Day”) will also be present at the opening.

The International Competition remains the festival’s major and most important section. Ten European feature debuts will compete for the title of Best Film and Best Director. Films from Lithuania, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Italy, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Turkey and Poland will be presented.

The traditional and perhaps most popular non-competition section “European Forum” will be geographically very diverse this year. The program contains the recent and most successful works of European Cinema, successful at various International Film Festivals and selected by the European Film Academy. The 2013 winner of the Berlinale’s Golden Bear, Calin Peter Netzer’s “Child’s Pose” is worth a special mention,


as well as the Oscar nominated Belgian film “The Broken Circle Breakdown” by Felix Van Groeningen, which has also attained the Berlinale Panorama Audience Award and the European movie theatre Network Prize. The new film of internationally acclaimed Polish filmmaker, Agnieszka Holland, “The Burning Bush”, will tell us of a student’s rebellion against the regime of his country. The new film of the world famous director of the animation “Persepolis” and an Iranian Icon, Marjane Satrapi, “Chicken with Plums” is a story of a violin player living in Tehran of the 1950s.  “The Great Beauty” from the award winner of numerous international film festivals, Paolo Sorrentino will be an interesting experience for lovers of decadent aesthetics and the Italian spirit.

This work has been nominated for the Palme d'Or of Cannes and in the international press it has been called the new “Felinni’s Dolce Vita”. Equally flamboyant and richly designed is the Danish film “A Royal Affair” by Nikolaj Arcel. This historical drama is the award winner of two Silver Bears for the best script at Berlinale and is nominated for the Oscars in the best foreign film category. The unique imagery of Scandinavian cinema is exemplified by “The Deep”, a film by the successful Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur, a realistic narrative of cold Icelandic nights, fishermen lost in the ocean and the supernatural powers of one man.

The festival will once again underline the long-term friendship between Georgia and Poland through cinema and will present the best Polish films in the European Forum. “Elles” by one of the most prominent filmmakers of the young generation, Malgorzata Szumowska, will show the clash between the concept of glamour magazines and the real life of women with Juliette Binoche as the leading actress. The winner of Toronto, Warsaw and London film festivals, “Ida” by Pawel Pawlikowski will also be screened, as well as the new work of Tbilisi IFF 8th International Competition winner, “Imagine” by Andrzej Jakimowski.

A Polish delegation will visit Tbilisi to present a special project by Mirosław Dembiński and Maciej Drygas“The World from Dawn till Dusk”. This project comprises documentary portraits of different cities produced during a number of workshops for film school students organized all over the world. The presentation screening of “Tbilisi from Dawn till Dusk” will take place during the festival.

“Horizons” is one of the traditional sections of the festival as well. It includes a selection of new films from Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. “Closed Curtain”, directed by the 5th Tbilisi IFF competition winner and one of the most important independent filmmakers in Iran, Jafar Panahi, could be mentioned as the highlight of this year’s Horizons. 

This film is the first work since Panahi was found guilty of “propaganda against the system” and was sentenced to six years in prison.  It received the Silver Bear at the Berlinale for the best script immediately after its release. The new film “Heli” by Amat Escalante, this year’s “Best Director” at Cannes, is also included. Japanese Hirokazu Koreeda’sLike Father, Like Son” is another Cannes award winner, having also done well at Toronto and Vancouver film festivals.

As for documentary films, the festival will try to represent the world’s topical issues through famous cinematic works. In the “World in Docs” section, the collaboration of British director Sophie Fiennes and ultra popular philosopher Slavoj Žižek ,“The Perverts Guide to Ideology” will be screened. This essay film intends to illustrate the forming process of collective fantasies and ideologies within cinematic metaphors. Žižek is also a narrator in Herman Vaske’s “Balkan Spirit”, where he discusses the creativity of the Balkan region, its political, cultural and philosophic aspects from Marina Abramović to Angelina Jolie. The film will be presented by the director, Hermann Vaske himself.

Georgia is an intriguing location for international filmmakers and a new documentary by the German Stefan Tolz proves this once again. “Full Speed Westward” is concerned with the latest political developments in Georgia and includes notable political figures as mainprotagonists. American filmmaker Tom Walters will deliver a story of a famous Georgian music teacher and immigrant to the USA, Botso Korisheli, in his film “Botso: The Teacher from Tbilisi”. The US production of Marina Zenovich needs to be mentioned as well, covering the trial and arresting issues of the world famous Roman Polanski in her film “Roman Polanski: the Odd Man Out”.

The prominent representative of Austrian Art-house cinema, Ulrich Seidl, will be the Director in Focus this year. His well-known trilogy, “Paradise” will be screened entirely (“Paradise: Faith”, “Paradise: Hope” and “Paradise: Love”). 

Each year the festival selects a country of focus and shows key films to illustrate its cinematic culture. This year, Finland will be the country in focus. Five films will be shown within this section, including the film of Göteborg, Moscow and Karlovy-vary award winner Aku Louhimies, “Naked Harbour”, and “The Black Ice” director, Petri Kotwica, will present his “Rat King” in Tbilisi, together with the producer.

With the support of Goethe Institute in Tbilisi, “Made in Germany” has become a traditional part of the festival. This section screens the most recent German productions of best quality. The main film of “Made in Germany” this year will be the latest work of the world-famous filmmaker and representative of German New Wave Cinema, Margarethe vonTrotta: “Hanna Arendt”. Jan Ole Gerster’s “Oh Boy” is at the height of success today, telling a story of young Nico, who is trying to find himself in the world full of hassle and challenges. “Two lives,” the drama of Georg Maas with Juliane Köhler and Liv Ullmann, which has been nominated to be the German Oscar entry, is also in the program.

Contemporary socio-cultural problems and recent public events in Georgia have inspired the new added section of the festival, “Love is a Basic Human Right.” The films in this part of the program explore unconventional human relationships, love and different obstacles that a closed society may create for it, be it of political or cultural character. The majority of films in this section are internationally acclaimed and will be presented by the directors themselves. Marcel Gisler's "Rosie" for instance, is the award winner of Moscow International Film Festival and is noted to be the best Swiss film of 2013. "Stranger by the Lake" by Alain Guiraudie is one of the most prominent films in the selection of European Film Academy. The work will be presented by the lead actor, Pierre Deladonchamps. The Fipress Prize winner Sarah-Judith Mettke will be present as well, with her new but already popular film "Transpapa". The festival will also be visited by the author of famous socio-cultural critique "The Class", Ilmar Raag, screening his new film entitled as "Kertu (Love is Blind)".

The well-known organization in the worldwide cinema industry and a long-term friend of Tbilisi International Film Festival, the Arsenal Institute of Film and Video-Arts is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. During its long history, Arsenal has come a long way from its beginnings as an initiative of a left-wing group to a widely recognized movie theatre. Today it is one of the most active non-governmental organizations in German cinema.  To highlight this successful example and present and insider’s view of it, Tbilisi IFF celebrates the 50 year anniversary with the screening of two silent films, accompanied live by the German pianist Eunice Martins. Among these films will be the world masterpiece by Walter Ruttmann, "Berlin: The Symphony of Great City" from 1927.

Apart from the opening film, Georgian cinema is presented in a number of other sections this year. "Coma" by Archil Kavtaradze is the participant of the International Competition, Internationally successful "In Bloom" by Nana Ekvtimhvili and Simon Gross will be screened in European Forum, "Films Across Borders" will include the locally popular "Tangerines" by Zaza Urushadze. New productions will be screened within "The Georgian Panorama", where the best director among the Georgian Participants will receive a special prize issued by the TBC bank and Institute of France.

Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgian State University will present the seven best student films of 2013. Finally, the festival will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the well-known Georgian filmmaker Eldar Shengelaia with one of his best but less-known films, "The White Caravan".

Tbilisi IFF is a regular participant of the EU funded Eastern Partnership Cultural Program. During the last years, this program organizes a number of important initiatives within the industry. "Films Across Borders" will be the a part of the festival this year once again, which will research the cultural, traditional, historical and everyday human experience in the process of democratization through key cinematic works of Eastern Partnership countries from 2013. The section will be accompanied by a special conference headed by Terry Sandel (Oxford University), an expert of culture policy. Entitled as "Co-Production in Eastern Partnership Region - Obstacles, Opportunities and Harmonization", it will be entirely dedicated to the legal matters of filmmaking and co-production as such.

The above-mentioned is just one of the many industry events organized during the festival in order to contribute to the progress of Georgian Cinema. A series of master classes are planned, covering all fundamental aspects of film making. The Oscar nominee and director of Israeli Film Fund Kathriel Shory will hold a master class for producers, titled "From an Idea to The Poster".

The famous Hungarian architect, designer, film production designer and a civic activist, Laslo Rajk will meet film designers and discuss "The City as a vicious circle -production design in Bella Tarr’s "The Man from London"". The well-known British documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield   ("Battle for Haditha", 'Biggie and Tupac", "Kurt and Courtney") will discuss documentary film along with showing his latest work. Michael Hoffman, the Special Guest of the festival will share his experience with scriptwriters. Young professionals will have a special interest in the upcoming master-classes from the Austrian director Ulrich Seidl. Sound design, specifically sound used for silent films will be discussed by Eunice Martins in a special master class for film composers. A master class in film editing will be held by the editor of Laurent Cantet’s films, Robin Campillo, who will present his new film "Eastern Boys”.


The guest of honor and the member of International Jury, Samira Makhmalbaf, will present one of   her work during a Special Screening. On the 7th of December, after the awarding ceremony, the audience will watch “The Last Station" by Michael Hoffman. This will close the official part of the festival. The last film of the program will be this year’s winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival,  "Blue is the Warmest Colour" by Abdelatiff Kechiche.


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