HISTORY

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The history of cinematography in Georgia begins in parallel with European one.

1908 is officially celebrated as the date of creation of Georgian cinema. The history
of production of Georgian films begins on this date. Film pioneers include Vasil
Amashukeli and Aleksandre Dighmelov (Dighmelashvili). The documentaries filmed

by them mainly reflected the events taking place in the society: Carrying Coal with
Camels, Baku Markets, Kutaisi Landscapes and others.
● In 1812 a full-length documentary film Journey of Akaki Tsereteli in Racha-
Lechkhumi was premiered in Radium movie theatre, Kutaisi.
● In 1916 Aleksander Tsutsunava directed the first feature-length Georgian feature
film – Christine.
● In 1918 the first Georgian film studio was established through the help of Belgian
film company FILME.
● In 1923 Sakhkinmretsvi JSC was established on the base of the FILME studio.
● In 1928 newsreels sector was created. About 200 feature and documentary films
have already been shot in Georgia at this period.
● In 1930 the first animated film Spring was directed by Vladimir Mujiri (director).
● In 1932 the first sound feature film Rote Fane was directed in Georgia. Director: Leo
Esakia.
● In 1938 Sakhkinmretsvi changed its name to Tbilisi Film Studio.
● In 1947 stereoscopic film studio was opened, producing the first Soviet feature-
length stereoscopic film Robinson Crusoe.
● In 1951 Tbilisi Film Studio started producing color films.
● In 1953 Tbilisi Film Studio was renamed to Georgian Film.
● With the opening of Georgian broadcasting in 1956 begins the history of a TV Film
Studio in Georgia.
● In 1958 Studio for Documentary and Popular Science Films was established. In
1992 by the decree of the Head of Government, a closed joint stock company
Georgian Film was founded, as a legal successor of all properties and intellectual
property registered since 1912.
Over the course of 110 years of existence of Georgian cinema, Georgian Film studio
produced about 900 full-length feature, television and short films, about 1600 documentary
and popular science and up to 500 animated films.
From the beginning until now Georgian cinema has been home to numerous
internationally recognized filmmakers, including Aleksandre Tsutsunava, Aleksandre
Dighmelov (Dighmelashvili), Kote Marjanishvili, V. Braski, Ivane Perestian, Mikheil
Kalatozov (Kalatozishvili), Niko Shengelaia, Mikheil Chiaureli, Davit Rondeli, Vakhtang
Tabliashvili, Nikoloz Sanishvili, Rezo Chkheidze, Otar Ioseliani, Eldar Shengelaia, Lana
Ghoghoberidze, Sergo Pharajanov, Giorgi Shengelaia, Merab Kokochashvili, Tengiz
Abuladze, Irakli Kvirikadze, Nana Jorjadze, Temur Babluani, etc.
Over the period of its existence, Georgian film has been acknowledged at almost all
notable film festivals or forums, including Cannes, Berlinale, Venice, Oberhausen, Rome,
Moscow, etc.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Georgia experienced serious economic and political
crisis. Unsurprisingly the crisis has influenced the film industry. Actors and crew were
dismissed from work. Film production departments were either shut down or received
minimal financial support. For almost 20 years Georgian Film studio did not undergo any
technical renewal and film production was minimized.
Now, with its new management and renewed infrastructure Georgian Film studio has
started a new life.

Georgian cinema at international forums:
In 1911, short chronicles of Vasil Amashukeli and Al. Dighmelov (Dighmelashvili) was first
shown at cinemas of Paris.
In 1924 Georgian full-length films Surami Fortress (directed by Ivane Perestian in 1922),
Arsena Jorjiashvili (directed by Ivane Perestian in 1921), Confessor (director: Alexander
Barski, 1923) were premiered at International Exhibitions of Paris and Lyon. In 1924
Georgian cinematography starts its triumphal march through the world film forums:
Cannes, Berlinale, Oberhausen, Venice, Rome, Moscow, Chicago, Gabrovo etc.