Georgian cinematographers oppose appointment of Nodar Dumbadze's daughter as head of the House of Writers
Filmmakers oppose Ketevan Dumbadze’s appointment
The Georgian Filmmakers’ movement has aligned with the writers and publishers’ protest opposing the selection of Ketevan Dumbadze, a representative from the ruling Georgian Dream party, as the director of the House of Writers.
Ketevan Dumbadze, daughter of the renowned Georgian author Nodar Dumbadze and a parliament member, cast her vote in favor of the contentious foreign agents law (commonly referred to as the “Russian law”) in March of this year.
Writers and publishers have jointly released a statement concerning the nomination of Ketevan Dumbadze, a member of the Georgian Dream party, as the director of the House of Writers. The statement emphasizes that the selection of the head for an institution like the House of Writers behind closed doors and based solely on party affiliation is unequivocally unacceptable.
The authors of the statement express their resolve not to yield to the Ministry of Culture’s anti-democratic and anti-state policies.
Filmmakers, in conjunction with writers and publishers, openly denounce the “repressive, anti-democratic, and anti-state policies of the Ministry of Culture.” They assert that the appointment of Dumbadze as the head of the House of Writers constitutes yet another deliberate endeavor to dismantle cultural institutions.
“Once more, we are witnessing a deliberate endeavor to dismantle the few remaining bastions of cultural integrity, substituting them with the unilateral influence of appointees aligned with the ruling party.
We are resolute in preventing the appropriation of our cultural landscape, the imposition of censorship, and the regression of our nation into an era of Soviet-style oppressions.
United and unwavering, we shall stand against these efforts! Art thrives as a living, autonomous, and apolitical entity,” declare the filmmakers in their statement.
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In early August, Natalia Lomouri, the director of the House of Writers, revealed that she had received a phone call from the Ministry of Culture informing her that her tenure would conclude in five days. Lomouri took to Facebook to express that she had officially communicated her interest in extending her term to the ministry.
Prior to this, a controversy unfolded involving Thea Tsulukiani, the Minister of Culture, and staff members of the National Museum of Georgia. The employees described the situation at the museum as a purge, asserting that they themselves were victims of what they termed a “reorganization.” Despite winning a legal case against Tsulukiani, some were still compelled to leave their positions. The court mandated the Ministry of Culture to provide financial compensation to those who were dismissed, although reinstatement did not occur.
On June 11, it was revealed that Nino Kukhalashvili, the deputy head of the Cinema Center, had been dismissed from her position, effective July 12, by the Ministry of Culture. Koba Khubunia, who also serves as the head of the Department of Economics within the Ministry of Culture, was appointed as the interim director.
In 2021, Koba Khubunia held the position of Deputy Head at the National Agency for the Prevention of Crime and the Execution of Non-custodial Sentences. Prior to that, he served as an Advisor within the Economic Service, focusing on financial matters, at the National Bureau of Enforcement under the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.
Subsequently, it was revealed that Bacho Odisharia, a journalist from the official propaganda channel POS TV, had been designated as the deputy director of the film production department at the cinema center. Odisharia announced a structural reorganization within the department.