36 films at independent film festival in Abkhazia
Abkhazia has played host to the eighth edition of the Russian Point in an Infinite Universe film festival, which took place from 23 to 26 August in a mountain village.
The video clip above was shot at last year’s festival which took place in Cyprus and Greece.
Thirty-six films were shown at the festival which was originally founded in 2011. As always, the festival took place outdoors, in Amtkel village in the Kodori Gorge, not far from the well-known Shakuran canyon which sports a number of impressive caves and waterfalls.
Festival-goers camped out in tents, and a large screen was set up on a field. Screenings started at sundown.
“It always ends up being an interesting exchange between filmmakers and the audience. Directors and actors, operators, screenplay writers and light operators are united by nature and bonfires with camping tents,” writes the organiser of the festival, Russian director Andrey Lukov on the site of the festival.
The festival’s aim is to support the development of independent film and young directors. The organisers decided not to include juries and prizes to single out specific works.
Films with overt displays of violence, racism and sexuality are not accepted at the festival.
The 36 films presented at the festival were shot in Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Russia. Two films shot in Abkhazia were also presented: Mountains. Winter. Abkhazia by Tengiz Tarba and Andrey Lukov, and Iura Yakov-ipa: A trilogy by director Dmitry Stateynov.
“We carried out four expeditions over the past year to Avadhara, Gymza (near the village of Pskhu), the Gagra Range and the Chkhu Pass. We flew there on a helicopter and studied the area, and took photographs in an attempt to convey its entire beauty. We have much to do still,” says Tarba.
mitry Stateynov’s documentary film Iura Yakov-ipa: A trilogy, talks about the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict of 1992-1993. The film is divided into three parts: ‘War’, ‘Hang gliders’ and ‘Dream’. Stateynov says that the main emphasis is on the history of the founder of the only hang gliding club in Abkhazia, Yuri Torgashov.
“Torgashov died during the war. The club was robbed and is now abandoned, and there are no attempts to revive it because there are no specialists in the field. But the film itself speaks not only about the tragedy of the family, but about the war itself. The residents of the republic know the history of the war well, so I’d like to speak to those that know very little about it,” says Stateynov.
Stateynov further said that the theme of war in Abkhazia is still one of the main topics in the arts:
“After watching, several people started crying. This is important because people should always remember that war is terrible.”