For a taster of some of the films we will be showing on our Georgian Film on Friday, 14th May, here is sneak preview of two other films made by Go Group Media:
The Old Man and Matsoni – a moving short film about an 82 year-old yoghurt seller from Akhaltsikhe
We Are From Sukhumi – interviews and footage of Georgian IDPs (internally displaced people) who were displaced from Abkhazia in the early 90s and currently live in Georgia. Abkhazia is a disputed territory on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. Its independence has recently been recognised by Russia and three other UN member states, whereas the majority of the international community regards it as part of Georgia.
GO GROUP and EYEWITNESS PROJECT
GO Group was established in 2009 as a non-governmental organization that aims to facilitate a more informed and more inclusive discourse about social, economic, cultural and conflict issues within the societies of the South Caucasus. Margarita Akhvlediani is co-founder and currently heads the organization.
Within the framework of its Eyewitness project, GO Group gives a voice to ordinary people in Georgia by offering them the opportunity to make short film documentaries on issues of their own choice. The documentaries are subtitled in Russian and English and published on the Eyewitness website as well as GO Group’s youtube channel, where viewers are able to comment. In addition, GO Group organizes public viewings of selected films throughout Georgia.
Currently, there is a network of more than 40 people of various ages and backgrounds who have received training as “resident reporters” and make their own films. More than 50 of their documentaries have so far been published on the internet, telling about the everyday experiences of ordinary people and their individual stories. The broad range of topics include displacement, challenges of old age, life in Abkhazia’s Gal/i region, and the situation of minorities.
The following quotations highlight the importance and the innovative approach of the project:
The importance of this project is that we obtain firsthand information. Even though films shot by resident reporters are not always of professional quality, they always provide accurate information based on undoubtedly real stories. And this is very important. (student in Gori)
Often, when ordinary people watch TV, many questions arise they don’t get answers to. We are routinely blamed for not covering one or another issue, or for not going deep enough. This project gives these people an opportunity to be a part of the process, to become themselves reporters and to cover problems and events around them the way they see ones. (journalist in Tbilisi)