CinéDoc 2016 Concludes in Tbilisi

Between October 21 and 25, the Georgian capital hosted the fourth edition of the only international documentary film festival in the Caucasus region CinéDoc Tbilisi 2016. With a diverse line-up consisting of 45 films and 6 competitive categories, the festival garnered an international audience, who had the chance to not only appreciate the work of talented filmmakers, but also to delve deeper into the creative process through Q&A sessions and master classes with the participants of the festival. An award ceremony held on the final day of the festival at Tbilisi’s National Youth Palace honored the jury’s and the audience’s favorites.

Wojchiech Staron’s (Poland) monumental film ‘Brothers’ triumphed in the international competition of CinéDoc 2016, in addition to winning the sympathies of the Student Jury. ‘Brothers’ is an impressive manifestation of more than 20 years of work of Staron, who accompanied two Polish siblings, displaced in Kazakhstan following the mass deportations in the 1940s, on their journey back to their homeland. Rather than focusing on the grand history or sentimental journeys to the past, Staron provides an insight into the daily rituals of two inseparable yet different characters as they aim to rebuild their lives in spite of dramatic events.

As CinéDoc is the sole festival in the Caucasus region focusing on documentaries, it dedicated one its sections, Focus Caucasus, to presenting local and regional productions. The main award in this category went to Arman Yeritsyan’s (Armenia) light-hearted film ‘One, two, three…’ which focuses on a group of “The Chosen Ones,” a troupe of elderly Armenians defying their personal struggles and the harsh conditions for senior citizens in the country through dance. A collection of very individual yet intertwined stories, it was described as “a study guide for all generations” by the competition’s jury, emblematic of the protagonists’ courage to live in a world many don’t have the necessary boldness to live in.

The 2016 edition of CinéDoc introduced a new competitive section, CivilDoc, dedicated to films dealing with human and social rights, coming in conjunction with a pitching forum Civil Pitch where Georgian NGOs presented their work to Georgian filmmakers. The inaugural CivilDoc award went to Pankaj Johar’s (India, Norway) investigative documentary ‘Cecilia,’ shedding light on the issue of child labor trafficking in India. The film joins Cecilia, a 54-year-old housekeeper, in her fight for justice following the death of her 14-year-old daughter under mysterious circumstances. It persistently exposes deep-rooted problems and showcases the integrity of the protagonist in her struggle for children's rights.

CinéDoc is the first film festival in Georgia supported by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union, and aims to introduce the wider Georgian public to the world of documentary cinema. The festival will be followed by a year-long screening tour ‘CinéDoc-On Tour’ covering all Georgian regions.

Zygimantas Kapocius

27 October 2016 20:25