The history of cinematography in Georgia begins in parallel with European.
1908 – This date is officially celebrated as the date of creation of Georgian cinema. From this time on the history of Georgian films production, pioneers of which were Vasil Amashukeli and Aleksandre Dighmelov (Dighmelashvili). The documentaries filmed by them mainly reflected the events taking place in the society: “Carrying coal with camels”, “Baku markets”, “Kutaisi landscapes” and others.
In 1812 a full-length documentary film “Journey of Akaki Tsereteli in Racha-Lechkhumi” was premiered in “Radium” movie theatre, Kutaisi.
In 1916 Aleksander Tsutsunava directed the first full-length Georgian feature film – “Christine”.
In 1918 the first Georgian film studio was established through the help of Belgian movie company “Filme”.
In 1923 “Sakhkinmretsvi” JSC was established on the base of the studio “Filme”.
In 1928 newsreels sector was created. About 200 feature and documentary films have already been shot in Georgia for this period.
In 1930 the first animated film “Spring” was directed by Vladimir Mujiri (director).
In 1932 the first sound feature film “Rote Fane” was directed in Georgia – dir. Leo Esakia.
In 1938 “Sakhkinmretsvi” changed its name into “Tbilisi film Studio”.
In 1947 studio of cinema in stereoscope was opened, where the first Soviet full-length stereoscopic film “Robinson Crusoe” was shot.
In 1951 Tbilisi Film Studio started producing color films.
In 1953 “Tbilisi film studio” was called “Georgian Film”.
With the opening of Georgian broadcasting in 1956 begins the history of a tele film studio in Georgia.
In 1958 studio for documentary and scientific-popular films was established. In 1992 with the order of the head of government, a closed joint stock company “Georgian Film” was founded which is a legal successor of all property and intellectual property registered since 1912.
Over the course of 110 years of existence of Georgian cinema, on the base of Georgian Film, about 900 full-length feature, television and short films, about 1600 documentary and scientific-popular and up to 500 animated films have been created. From the beginning until now, internationally recognized cinematographers have been working in Georgian cinema: Al. Tsutsunava, A.Dighmelov (Dighmelashvili), K.Marjanishvili, V.Braski, Iv.Perestian, M.Kalatozov (Kalatozishvili), N.Shengelaia, M.Chiaureli, D.Rondeli, V.Tabliashvili, N.Sanishvili, R.Chkheidze, O.Ioseliani, E.Shengelaia, L.Ghoghoberidze, S.Pharajanov, G.Shengelaia, M.Kokochashvili, T.Abuladze, Ir. Kvirikadze, N.Jorjadze, T.Babluani, etc.
Over the period of its existence, Georgian film has been acknowledged in almost all film festivals or forums: Cannes, Berlinale, Oberhausen, Venice, Rome, Moscow, etc.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Georgia experienced serious economic and political crisis. It is not surprising that the crisis has influenced the film industry. Technicians and actors were dismissed from work. Cinema production departments were either shut down, or received minimal financial support. For almost 20 years, Georgian Film studio did not undergo any technical renewal and film production was minimized.
Now, with its new management and renewed infrastructure Georgian Film studio has started a new life.
Georgian cinema at international forums:
In 1911, short chronicles of Vasil Amashukeli and Al. Dighmelov (Dighmelashvili) was first shown at cinemas of Paris.
In 1924 Georgian full-length films “Surami Fortress” (directed by Iv.Perestian in 1922), “Arsena Jorjiashvili (dir. Iv.Perestian – 1921), “Confessor” (dir. Al. Barski – 1923) were premiered at International Exhibitions of Paris and Lyon. In 1924 Georgian cinematography starts its triumphal march through the world film forums: Cannes, Berlinale, Oberhausen, Venice, Rome, Moscow, Chicago, Gabrovo etc.
Georgian film funds:
87.000 boxes of original materials and copies of 800 feature and short films, up to 1500 documentary, original materials about 600 animated and diapositive films.
More than 1 000 sketches of costumes for movies, exteriors, interiors, scenes.
More than 2 000 sketches for animated and diapositive films.
Original film posters (300 pcs).
Photos and photonegatives from films and shooting areas (60,000 pcs).
Screenplays and installation sheets (500 films).
Screenplays of unfinished and unproduced films (200 films).