Voila, the 1st International Documentary Film Festival in the Caucasus started last night in the Rustaveli cinema in Tbilisi. Totally full was the cinema hall for the opening ceremony that included a promise from festival director Artchil Khetagouri, that a bigger hall will be available next year – and a good atmosphere filling the cinema for the opening film “Songs of Redemption” by Amanda Sans (who was present) & Miquel Galofre. The catalogue text goes like this: “Songs Of Redemption” is a Jamaican documentary that captures the story of redemption and rehabilitation of inmates of the General Penitentiary located in Kingston, Jamaica. It features riveting interviews and powerful reggae music created, performed, and produced in a unique partnership by inmates and wardens.
At the other end of the Rustaveli Boulevard a workshop goes on during daytime at the fine venue of the Goethe Institute. 10 Georgian documentary projects are being developed with the help from tutors like British Peter Symes, Latvian Uldis Cekulis, Serbian Goran Radovanovic, Belgian Paul Pauwels and Danish Tue Steen Müller, who are writing these lines. I was (also) asked to talk about the state of the art of documentaries and did so through the showing of newly digitized versions of Lithuanian classics like Robertas Verba’s 1969 short documentary about the 100 years old people, and Arunas Matelis 1990 “The Minutes Before the Flight of Icarus” – as well as clips from “Argentinian Lesson” by Wojciech Staron and “Father and Son” (both versions) by Pawel and Marcel Lozinski. Not to forget the fantastic opening of Timo Novotny’s “Life in Loops”, the remix of “Megacities” by Michael Glawogger.
Photo: Opening dinner for the workshoppers… We eat well in Tbilisi!