The messenger logo

13th TIFF closes with awards

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, December 14
The best film and best director of the 13th Tbilisi International Film Festival (TIFF) were announced on December 8th. The international jury headed by Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf found it hard to judge among ten "very good" films.

Makhmalbaf said that although some films had problems with delivering “the message,” all of them were better than his first and second films.

Giorgy Parajanov received the Silver Prometheus Award for Best Director for his work on Everybody's Gone: “Its cinematography gives the true feeling of the magic of cinema.”

Loving (directed by Slawomir Fabicki) received the Golden Prometheus for Best Film "...brilliantly directed and acted powerfully and truthfully…”

The jury gave special mentions to two further films. "We did this because judging 10 films with only two awards is very limiting." Makhmalbaf told The Messenger before adding that the festival had “a very good energy and selection.”

Two films given special mentions by the jury were Children of Sarajevo directed by Aida Begic and Keep Smiling directed by Rusudan Chkonia.

Director of TIFF Gaga Chkheidze explained that the participating films are either the first or the second production for their directors. “All the films caused great interest.” he told The Messenger.

Winner of the Best Georgian Director award, Tinatin Gurchiani had already gained interest at international festivals for her film The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, but by winning the award at TIFF her film won a place at the Gothenburg International Film Festival in January 2013, courtesy of the Swedish Embassy in Georgia and the Swedish Institute. The Swedish Ambassador to Georgia congratulated Gurchiani by saying "gilotav" (Georgian for congratulations).

Founder of the Berlin International Film Festival’s (Berlinale) International Forum of New Cinema and TIFF jury member Ulrich Gregor said the participating films were all ambitious and prompted discussion. Gregor said the participating films attempted to reach a large audience but remained personal at the same time. “We do not expect films which are perfect but rather can stir discussion,” he told The Messenger.

The films of Goga Khaindrava, Vakhtang Jajanidze and Zura Menteshashvili received special mentions by the jury.

British playwright and film director Christopher Hampton shared his film Imagining Argentina and spoke of the difficulties and pleasure of making a film. He spoke of the talent and perseverance needed for successful film-making before wishing his Georgian colleagues good luck in their future endeavors.

Tato Kotetishvili's Watermelon received the Best Short Film Award. Gabriel Razmadze’s Black Mulberry received an honorary mention by the jury.

TIFF officially closed with Dito Tsintsadze’s Invasion starring Georgian actor Merab Ninidze. Ninidze who has lived in Austria for 18 years, said the festival is “fantastic for a country like Georgia which has a great tradition of filmmaking.”

This year was the first year TIFF was supported by the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said at the closing gala that TIFF can serve as a bridge connecting Georgia with international culture.

The Messenger congratulates the 13th Tbilisi International Film Festival with a successful week of film viewing and expresses its pleasure at being among TIFF's media sponsors.