CinéDOC-Tbilisi 2016: Show, Educate, Enjoy!

October 21st will see the kick off of the 4th Tbilisi Documentary Film Festival: CinéDOC-Tbilisi. Once again, the packed program promises screenings of both award-winning and new directors, carefully chosen from the best film festivals around Europe, and workshops for interested youth, filmmakers and NGOs.

Screenings are to be held in Rustaveli and Amirani cinemas, with the Frontline Club, the Goethe-Institut Georgien and the Caucasian House also among the venues for the film screenings.

GEORGIA TODAY spoke to CinéDOC-Tbilisi’s Director Archil Khetagouri and Ileana Stanculescu, Festival Coordinator, to find out more.

“We chose 45 films out of hundreds of applications over around five months,” Khetagouri said. “Nearly all those invited have agreed to come.”

“We scoured all the major documentary film festivals,” Stanculescu told us. “And while we have chosen a lot of award-winning films to screen at 2016 CinéDOC-Tbilisi, we selected those which we found most interesting and diverse and best connected with this year’s theme- ‘Relationships’.”

We asked the energetic duo about the educational aspect of CinéDOC-Tbilisi festivals.

“With our CinéDOC-Young section, in which we dub films, we hope to encourage more young people to get involved,” Stanculescu said. “Many young people come along to the festival who are curious about what is happening outside of Georgia. They may not necessarily have an understanding of what a documentary is- especially as such films don’t tend to be shown on TV here- but they get to see the wider world, to meet visiting filmmakers and to engage in discussions with them.”

We asked why such films rarely – if ever- get shown on Georgia television, to which Khetagouri replied that TV channels just don’t seem to have the budgets for it.

“They go for well-known European or American successes but are reluctant to pay the necessary fees to show a lesser-known but equally valuable CinéDOC-Tbilisi film. We have tried to engage them in negotiation but at present, the situation unfortunately stands as it is.”

“We have a novelty this year,” Stanculescu enthused. “CivilDoc - which covers the themes of human and social rights. There’s also a pitch forum (CivilPitch) in which local NGO representatives get to introduce their latest projects hoping to inspire the filmmakers to take up the topic in a future documentary film.

The CinéDOC-Tbilisi 2016 festival certainly seems as packed with as much educational and entertainment value as ever. Don’t miss out!

Katie Ruth Davies

13 October 2016 19:49