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Event: “Falling Leaves”

April 7, 2013

Winner of the FIPRESCI award at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival

Screening: 21 May 2013 at Ciné lumière 

91 mins

Georgian with English subtitles

Georgia | 1966 | dir. Otar Iosseliani

RAW, London’s artisan wine fair, is delighted to present this screening-cum-wine-tasting, with guest appearances by the film’s award-winning Director, Otar Iosseliani, and the UK’s standard bearer for natural wine, Isabelle Legeron MW, THAT CRAZY FRENCH WOMAN. Introduced by Isabelle and with a Q&A with the director post-screening, this 1966 masterpiece is not only an integral part of Georgia’s cultural heritage but is also the first film ever to question the use of additives and manipulation that have become common place in modern winemaking. This is one of the very few times that Falling Leaves has been shown in the UK in the presence of its Director, and to honour the occasion it will be accompanied by a tasting of wines by Lagvinari, an organic, artisan Georgian wine producer, that grows the sort of wine that Niko, Falling Leaves’ protagonist, would certainly have approved of. Book tickets now.

Film Synopsis

A young idealist is delighted to land a job at the local, state winery in Tbilisi but soon discovers that the wine is pumped full of additives and is unfit for consumption. His attempts to change the status quo fall on deaf ears and he soon becomes disillusioned with life and the corruption of the Soviet State.

This charming, humoristic coming-of-age film is extraordinary not just as commentary on Soviet bureaucracy, or indeed as an ode to those who stick by their convictions, but because it is unbelievably avant-garde for being far ahead of its time in questioning production practices that are all to familiar to wine around the world today.

Falling Leaves was Iosseliani’s debut feature, which saw the beginning of an illustrious career spanning 5 decades.

The Director: Otar Iosseliani

Born in Tbilisi in 1934, in the Republic of Georgia, Otar Iosseliani is perhaps Georgia’s most celebrated film director. And yet, having lived in Paris for the last 20 years, he now considers himself just as French as he does Caucasian.

He directed his first feature film Giorgobistve (‘Falling Leaves’) in 1966 to great acclaim, winning the FIPRESCI critics award at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival. When his 1976 film Pastorali was shelved for a few years and subsequently granted only a limited distribution, Iosseliani grew sceptical about artistic freedom in his homeland. Following Pastorali’s success at the 1982 Berlin Film Festival, the director moved to France where in 1984 he made Les Favoris de la Lune. The film was distinguished with a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

In 1986, he was a member of the jury at the 36th Berlin International Film Festival and in 1989 he again received a Special Jury Prize for Et la Lumière Fut followed by the 1992 Pasinetti Award for Best Direction for La Chasse aux Papillons. Most recently, his 2011 film Chantrapas was selected as the Georgian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards. In short, Iosseliani is one of Georgia’s greatest national treasures.

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