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Georgian filmmakers stand against National Film Centre

Georgian filmmakers stand against National Film Centre
Scene from I'm Beso (2014), by Georgian director Lasha Tskvitinidze.

9 August 2016

A new Georgian film movement has accused the country’s state body in charge of allocating funds to local filmmakers of censorship, and slammed the jury selection system as “exceptionally unprofessional and incompetant”.

Members of the Vake Park Film Movement (VPFM) claim that the Georgian National Film Centre (GNFC), the only state institution that decides which films receive funding, has attempted to censor one of their projects due to content it deemed controversial.

“Members of the jury demonstrated exceptionally unprofessional, incompetent and unethical behaviour in their attempt to censor the project based on its “vulgar” content and the form of the script,” VPFM’s spokespeople stated.

One of the group’s chief complaints is against the new lottery system implemented for the selection of jury members, which was brought in by the GNFC’s new director, Zurab Maghalashvili.

Members of the VPFM say that the catalyst for the group’s creation was the jury’s allegedly incompetent evaluation of award-winning director Lasha Tskvitinidze’s film Armatura.

“The lottery, or random, selection of jury members for funding competitions completely liberates Maghalashvili and the GNFC from any responsibility of ensuring the quality of the selected jury,” reads a statement by VPFM.

Members of the film movement have proposed a new selection process for jury members more akin to those seen in other countries.

“We want to meet Director Maghalashvili, but our mandatory condition is that this meeting should be open to the media. Over the years we have conducted a lot of meetings with the GNFC behind closed doors, and these have never led to any results,” said VPFM director Rati Oneli. Mr Maghalashvili has agreed to such a meeting.

Source: Georgia Today