Since the beginning of the 20th century, Georgia has had a very active film scene, which has brought forth its own unique cinematic languages and styles. Thanks to the work of Erika and Ulrich Gregor, the founders of Arsenal who had a very specific interest in Georgian cinema, a corresponding emphasis has been placed on this particular cinema culture at both Arsenal and the Berlinale Forum since the 1960s. This has meant that, alongside the Gosfilmofond state film archive in Moscow, Arsenal now has the largest collection of Georgian films worldwide outside the country itself.
The collection includes 26 KOMISARI Nikolos Schengelaja, 1932; XIX SAUKUNIS KARTULI KRONIKA Alexandre Rechwiaschwili, 1978; DEDUNA Dato (David) Dshanelidze, 1987; DGE (The Day) Lewan Glonti, 1990; GSA SCHINISSAKEN Alexandre Rechwiaschwili, 1981; IKO SCHASCHWI MGALOBELI (Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird) Otar Iosseliani, 1970; TSISPERI MTEBI ANU DAUJEREBELI AMBAVI (Blue Mountains) Eldar Shengelaia, 1983; WEDREBA (The Plea) Tengiz Abuladze, 1967. All the titles can also be looked up online at the Arsenal film database.
With funding from the Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office, three films from the collection can now be digitally restored, secured, and made accessible to the public once again by being included in our distribution range. The films are:
DIDI MZWANE WELI (Great Green Valley; 1967) by Merab Kokotschaschwili
RAMDENIME INTERWIU PIRAD SAKITCHEBSE (Some Interviews on Personal Questions; 1978) by Lana Gogoberidse
SGHWARZE (At the Border; 1993) by Dito Tsintsadze
The “Digital Restoration and Preservation of Georgian Films from the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art Collection” is funded by the Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office.