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BATUMI 2019 Alternative Wave / Awards

Batumi's Alternative Wave industry platform reveals winners

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- The projects Rust-orange Sky by Shalva Shengeli, You Look Like Your Father by Levan Lomjaria and The Burden by Ana Iosava have won awards

Batumi's Alternative Wave industry platform reveals winners
Writer-director-producer Ana Iosava receiving the Berlinale Award for her project The Burden

The fifth edition of Alternative Wave, the industry platform of the Batumi International Arthouse Film Festival (15-22 September) for the development of low-budget projects from Georgia and neighbouring countries, saw three upcoming local films win awards.

Post-production services worth €10,000 from Wroclaw-based CeTA Studio went to Rust-orange Sky by writer-director-producer Shalva Shengeli and co-writer Alexander Kurkhuli. In his first fiction feature, Shengeli tells the story of the unlikely intertwining of the lives of one miner and four ballerinas. Miner John wants to stop working underground, in the dark, while the ballerinas have turned a former secret command post of the Soviet Army Air Force into their rehearsal room. It is located under the building in which one of them, Salome, lives. When John witnesses the death of a friend, he decides to stop mining, and instead finds a job in construction and moves in with his relative – Salome.

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The award consisting of participation in Istanbul Film Festival's Meetings on the Bridge went to writer-director Levan Lomjaria and producer Vako Kirkitadze's You Look Like Your Father. The first feature film by Lomjaria, who studied at Bela Tarr's film.factory in Sarajevo, tells the story of an intelligent misfit, 15-year-old Makuna, a schoolgirl frustrated by her limited existence in a rural community. Misunderstood by those around her, except for her English teacher, mentor and friend, Katie, Makuna becomes more and more extreme in her actions, much to the chagrin of her mother, who realises she will not be able to keep living in the village.

The Berlinale Award, which takes the winner to the German festival with all expenses covered, went to The Burden by writer-director-producer Ana Iosava and co-writer Otar Katamadze. Batumi-born Iosava's first feature film is a story about a young student, Lali, who moves from her village to the city. She gets pregnant by her boyfriend Giorgi, whose domineering mother decides that he should run away. Lali cannot turn to her traditional family either, and finds support in a friend who suggests that they will have to just accept it when they are faced with the inevitable. However, nothing works out as planned for Lali.

The fifth Alternative Wave featured eight projects. For the full list, please click here.

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