Open letter in Support of Georgian Filmmakers

Open letter in Support of Georgian Filmmakers

Letter to the filmmakers and film organizations of the world

Today we need your support more than ever in recent history. We remember very well the Soviet censorship; stolen perspectives and muted expressions in our films; our writers massacred, and our culture driven to collapse. It is hard to believe that after regaining our independence Soviet censorship is still something to worry about.

We, Georgian filmmakers and artists are still learning how to get rid of the old burden of censorship. For decades no one tried to meddle with the culture the way they do now. Georgian National film Center (GNFC) plays an important role in maintaining independent Georgian cinema; losing GNFC will collapse Georgian film sector; GNFC established in 2001 has financed and supported 350 Georgian films screened at 1600 film festivals and winning over 400 awards; However, all this is in danger as the Minister of culture Ms Tea Tsulukiani, who has been appointed since 2020, today has plans for the film industry; the reorganization and establishing iron fist on films, deciding who and what is worth funding, all these have become her motivation for a better future for film sector.

Since her transfer from the Minister of Justice to the ministry of culture almost all of the institutions under the ministry of culture have faced forced reorganizations, dismissal of professionals and appointment of people with working experiences in penitentiary system as well as ministry of justice;

All this is extremely dangerous with homophobic talks and pro-Russian agendas lurking everywhere. For example, the head of the ruling party Georgian Dream, Irakli Kobakhidze stated:

"It is important that films with the right content are made and not films with shameful content. A film can be critical, it can be politically sensitive, but when you make an absurd film, it is absolutely incomprehensible," about Salome Jashi’s film “Taming the Garden”. The ruling party is unhappy with Jashi’s film and they criticize Georgian National Film Center for allowing such film to be financed.

Reorganization and the appointment of non-film related professionals in the Georgian National film Center lead to protests in Georgia among filmmakers and artists.

We need support from the international film community to overcome these difficult times and
save freedom of speech and expression in Georgia. Your open support is crucial for the Georgian filmmakers.

Please share the word and stand with our vibrant community in these challenging times.
Georgian Filmmaker