Director: Otar Iosseliani

France, Georgia, drama, 122 min., 2009, lithuanian and english subtitles
Niko (Dato Tarielashvili) is a talented filmmaker working in Soviet Georgia. A man whose work at home is constantly interrupted by his grandparents and whose freedom of creation is determined by state censors and ideological rules, is finally fed up with the Soviet reality. He decides to leave his homeland and immigrates to France – the land of freedom and democracy. Here he meets a producer (Pierre Etaix), who offers him a chance to use his talent in Europe. It only takes a short time for Niko to realize he’s simply gone from one system of creation regulation to another. “Chantrapas” is a sharp and ironic film about the artist’s search for freedom, the reality of exile, and the artist’s struggle to be understood. Even though there are some parallels to Otar Iosseliani’s life, this isn’t an autobiographical portrait: the film director managed to escape the worst of the Soviet-era censors, learning how to work under the appointed rules while doing what he wanted. Niko, by contrast, never figures out how to play the game and, by leaving Communist bureaucrats, falls under the rapacious French producers’ influence. The word chantrapas was coined in 19th century Russia to describe artists who are not accepted at home and who ultimately leave their countries.

2010 – Special Prize “Prix Jean Vigo” for Otar Iosseliani’s life’s work in Cannes Film Festival.

About the director:
Otar Iosseliani was born in 1934 in Tbilisi, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. Here he studied composition, conducting and piano at the State Conservatory. Later he went to Moscow to study at the faculty of mathematics, but soon he quit and entered the Russian State Film Institute (VGIK). In 1966, he directed his first feature film “Giorgobistve” that was presented at the Critics’ Week at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival and won a FIPRESCI award. Later the director moved to France, seeking more creative freedom, and in 1984 he made “Favorites of the Moon” (Les Favoris de la Lune). The film was distinguished with a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. Since then, Venice has been the showcase for all his subsequent films.

Section: Identity

Screenplay: Otar Iosseliani

Dir. of Photography: Lionel Cousin, Julie Grunebaum

Music: Djordji Balantchivadze

Cast: Dato Tarielashvili, Tamuna Karumidze, Fanny Conin, Givi Sarchimelidze, Pierre Etaix, Bulle Ogier, Bogdan Stupka