Georgia Film Festival opens in Tokyo

The Georgia Film Festival, which showcases valuable works produced in the country during the former Soviet era, has started in Tokyo.

The festival opened on Saturday at Iwanami Hall in Jinbocho, central Tokyo.

Prior to the screenings, Georgia’s Ambassador to Japan Teimuraz Lezhava delivered a speech.

He said his country is proud to have cultivated its culture while enduring a difficult international situation. He added that films are an important cultural element that conveys the spirit of Georgia.

The festival presents 35 films. They include a film depicting the life of Georgia’s leading painter Niko Pirosmani. He is known for a romantic episode that was turned into a hit song, “Million Scarlet Roses.”

One of the viewers said that Georgian films have an appeal not found in Western films. She said she wanted to see all the works.

Painter Harada Takehide, who planned the film festival, said only a limited number of works are available for screening because many films produced during the former Soviet era are missing or have deteriorated.

Harada said there were restrictions on speech at the time, but the films reflect the pride of the Georgian people and their desire for freedom. He expressed the hope that people will learn more about the works.

The film festival runs until February 25.

Darcy J. Skinner