GIFT Festival Opens Today in Tbilisi

The 21st annual GIFT Festival (Georgian International Festival of Arts in Tbilisi) in honor of Mikheil Tumanishvili opens today. On Wednesday, a press conference was held by Tbilisi Deputy Mayor Sopio Khuntsaria, Artistic Director of the Festival Keti Dolidze, General Manager Sopo Tortladze, Norwegian Theater Company The Krumple, and representatives from the Italian Embassy.

"Tbilisi loves traditions and has maintained the 'gift' of the city. The festival has been held for 21 years, and today it is as urgent and modern as it was in the beginning. The first year since independence, when the festival was created, was really a holiday for Tbilisi. This year's program is quite diverse. The lectures and master classes that are presented as part of the festival are important for Tbilisi City Hall, as informal education is one of the priorities of the city," said Khuntsaria.

This year's GIFT marks the first year that Scandivanian countries have brought their art to share in Georgia. Audiences will be able to see groundbreaking Norwegian choreography, design, music and modern artistic aesthetics. Norwegian National Opera and Ballet Choreographer, Alan Lucien Øyen, presents "Simulacrum," a historic meeting of Argentine dancer Daniel Proietoo and 78-year-old Japanese Flamenco legend Shoji Kojima. In addition, the "Summer Days of Sardinia" will be held in Georgia, for which Rustaveli Theater will host the Georgian premiere of "Macbettu," the Sardinia National Theater's interpretation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth.

During the festival, director Gianfranco Cabiddu will present his film "La Stoffa dei Sogni," which won the David Di Donatello prize from the Italian Film Academy. Additionally, the National Parliamentary Library will host a lecture by Sardinian writer Marcello Fois on modern Italian literature. Fois will also present his new book and meet with Georgian peers.

Within the framework of the festival, a Georgian-Sardinian concert will be held on November 4 in Old Tbilisi. The day before the concert, there will be an open workshop at Rustaveli Theater.

One of the festival's featured performances is Dimitry Krymov's "Without a Dowry." The play offers a modern interpretation of classical literature analyzing contemporary Russian life, . The show received 2 grant prizes at International Theater Festival Kontakt, Poland for THE BEST DIRECTOR and THE BEST ACTRESS. It is also a laureate for the best theatre production of 2018, at the only independent Audience Choice Awards in Russia.

Norwegian productions open the festival tonight and tomorrow. For a full list of festival activities, see the GIFT Facebook page.

The festival will run until November 16.

By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Tbilisi City Hall

Related Stories:

GIFT Festival Brings International Dramatic Artists to Tbilisi

18 October 2018 08:28