“Sovdagari” and “Hitchhiking Patagonia”- Documentary Sketches in Frontline
Festival in Media

On June 16, two short documentary Georgian films were shown at the club "Frontline Georgia": Beso Gvenetadze's "Hitchhiking Patagonia " (2016) and Tamta Gabrichidze's "Sovdagari" (2016). Beso is not a professional director and his "amateur" film was created as a result of a trip. Tamta is a director and she has a few short and documentary films as well.

"Well, I'm a driver, aren't I? Now I'll tell you what being a driver means in Argentina and what in Europe " - we hear in a shot. For 14 minutes, from the truck window you can see the beautiful nature of the Patagonia, the picturesque landscapes ... And in the background you hear the infinite speaches, the dialogues about God, the global warming, the unemployment in Santa Cruz, the mother ... In Beso Gvenetadze's short documentary film (in the video - as he calls it) there is no one particular hero. He travels and introduces us the members of his advanture through the fragmentary and wrested dialogues. It is an audiofilm.

Beso is a professional lawyer. For the first time he hitchhiked in Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia. Then he decided to make his dream come true and hitchhike to Argentina. And also, on the way he wanted to take a video just for uploading on Vimeo or on Youtube.

He has been saving money for buying a camera for 2 years and has been studying Spanish intensively and purposefully. In November 2016, Beso went to Argentina and Chile to the Patagonia region with a large bagpack, tent, video camera and sound recorder. He passed 3000 kilometers hitchhiking and on the way recorded the monologues of the truck drivers. Hitchhiking Patagonia is a sketch retold in an interesting way that gives you the feeling that something is missing ... there's more you would like to see and hear.

At the end of April, International Documentary Film Festival Hot Docs was held in Toronto. Hot Docs is the "Oscar" qualifying festival and the winner films have a great chance to get the "Oscar" nominations. Tamta Gabrichidze's film "Sovdagari" became the winner of Hot Docs in nomination of short documentary films.

Initially, "Sovdagari" was planned to be a full-length film. In 2016 it was presented on Hot Docs, as a project and gained great interest, but due to the absence of financing from the native country (which is very important factor during festivals), co-production has not been achieved. "The refusal of the competition announced by the film center was followed by the refusal from studio of the documentary films. That was exactly the time when public programme "Teleblog" announced the contest. I decided to go and try", - says Tamta.

The full-length project became a short film because of the TV format and unbelievable history of one merchant - Gela was created. Gela is a young man who loads his car with thousand goods: soap bubbles, light bulbs, shiny women bags, clothes cleaning brushes (clothes "hoovers" as it's referred in the movie), boots, socks, baking shapes, and takes them all in the villages of Samtskhe-Javakheti. - How much are these boots? - Asks one woman; - 25kg potatoes, answers Gela from the car; - And this scarf? - The woman puts on a pink scarf and shows it to others. - This one? 5 kg potatoes, he responds again. Nobody trades with money here, everything is measured by potatoes. After a good trade, Gela returns to the city where he sells potatoes.

The film taken in 4 days develops dynamically. We observe potato trade scenes, residents of the village gathered at Gela's car, their everyday life and labor. Sparkles in children's eyes while seeing various shiny goods are also easy to remember. - Who do you want to become? Someone says behind the scene. The 7-8 year old boy is looking delighted at the camera and does not respond. - He wants to become a journalist. - His mother responds instead of him. The boy looks back at his mother satisfied with her answer and still stares at the camera.

Salome Kikaleishvili



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