23 NOVEMBER 2016
Written by Salome Gvesela, Gvansa Margishvili, Javid Ramazanov
As the part of GIPA Doc U 2016, screenings of documentary films and trans-media projects produced by students of the Caucasus school
of Journalism and Media Management (CSJMM) took place in MEC (Multimedia Education Center) on November 14 and 15. The reporters of Newscafe.ge conducted interviews with jury members. GIPA Doc U is an annual event held in November and includes Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) CSJMM student’s documentary film screenings, student pitching sessions, master classes and mini-conference on documentary film-related issues.
Second year students from CSJMM have an opportunity to take documentary classes and produce short documentary films.
What did you think of the films presented this year at GIPA Doc U? Before you watched the films, what were your expectations? What criteria are the films being judged on?
Reporters interviewed four jury members of documentary films and trans-media projects. They were former CSJMM students.
Lala Alieva, a jury member from Azerbaijan, said compared to previous years, the quality of filmmaking is improved: “I really like most of these films. Of course some of them should be reworked again, some of them should continue their work to elaborate more ideas, because potentially they have strong ideas and visually are very good.”
Georgian jury member Omar Tsotsoria said that it was very tough job to choose one film among really good ones: “I was quite amazed. I had to watch them more than once. The discussion was really long. You could not even tell that it was student movies. The guys behind the camera had little experience or none at all. I would like to give all of them some kind of an award.”
To the question on criteria, Tsotsoria answered: “It must be visually interesting, and there must be some kind of story. I appreciate the originality. I really appreciate the boldness of directors and how far they can go."
According to Sona Simonyan, the jury member from Armenia, “all the films need to be continued, because they have very good basics."
Simonyan said the one thing that she didn’t expect in this festival was the endings of documentary films: “It’s always a big problem to do really good documentary films from the beginning until the end. But this year I really liked that.”
To the question of what advice would she give first-year GIPA students for next year, Simonyan answered: “Do everything with love and not just for a grade or for something else, because anyway you will graduate from here and you will have all the knowledge and basics. These skills are a very good opportunity. I work where I am now because of GIPA.”
Tamara Mshvenieradze, another Georgian jury member who graduated five years ago, spoke about her criteria: “Films can make you laugh, can make you cry, can make you think, can make you very happy or very unhappy. I trusted pure reactions I had."
Mshvenieradze said she was very nervous before watching films: “I was nervous. I had no expectations. The very first GIPA Doc U was very important for me. When the baby GIPA was born I was here and the film that I made with my friend Mariam Jojuadze was a top three GIPA Doc U films. So I’ve been there and I was really nervous because it was a big responsibility for me.”
Mshvenieradze also gave advice for first-year students: “I think that you have to try to go there, go swim there. It’s like being thrown in a very deep end but I don’t know that there is a better way to tell the stories than to tell it with pictures. I think you have to try to go and suffer a little bit”.
GIPA Doc U 2016 award ceremony was held at MEC in 15th November. Presenters announced the winner’s names. This year’s award for best pitch for a documentary still in development went to “Why Pigs Don't Have a Name” by Zurab Mamagulashvili.
The jury chose two trans-media projects as winners. Best in Development went to "Alternative Home" by Gulnar Salimova, Thea Ghvinadze and Nino Abdaladze, and to “Public Interest” by Sopho Vasadze, Maradia Tsaava and Tatuli Omiadze.
The main prize for documentary film went to "Split" by Eka Maghaldadze.