Georgian director wins First Feature award at Locarno

Georgian director wins First Feature award at Locarno

15 August 2017

Georgian director Ana Urushadze has won the prestigious First Feature Award at the Locarno Film Festival for her debut film Scary Mother (Sashishi Deda). Judged by a jury of international critics, the First Feature Award is the top prize for a debut director at the Swiss festival.

With the financial support of Georgia’s National Film Centre, Scary Mother was a joint production between Georgian and Estonian film studios, with Nato Murvanidze playing the lead role. After directing two notable shorts, and graduating from the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film University (TAFU), this is Urushadze’s first feature-length work. The plot centres on Manana, a 50-year-old housewife who has to choose between living a traditional family life and pursuing a suppressed passion for writing, also exploring the changing role of women in Georgian society.

Ana Urushadze, the daughter of Oscar nominee Zaza Urushadze — known for his critically acclaimed work Tangerines — is one of the newest members to the new generation of filmmakers paving the way forward for Georgian cinema.

The Locarno Festival began in 1946 and is informally known as the “Festival of Discoveries”, with many successful filmmakers receiving early recognition from this particular jury. If 70 years of history is anything to go by, Ana Urushadze is certainly one to watch out for in the future.

Source: Georgian Journal