Mourning Otar Iosseliani

    picture of smoking man before sea
    Otar Ioseliani (picture by Gorup de Besanez)

    Born in 1934, the Georgian director Otar Iosseliani first studied Music at the Tbilisi Conservatory, receiving a diploma in 1952 in composition, conducting and piano. He then went to Moscow to study Mathematics but switched to the renowned National Film Institute VGIK to study film directing.

    After repeated censorship of his films by the Soviet authorities, his 1982 film PASTORAL played at the Berlinale where it received the festival’s FIPRESCI Prize, upon which Iosseliani emigrated to France. Here, he shot FAVOURITES OF THE MOON which won the Grand Special Jury Prize in Venice in 1984 and continued to become an international success.

    Iosseliani would return to Venice and receive the same award in 1989 for AND THEN THERE WAS LIGHT and in 1996 for BRIGANDS – CHAPTER VII. Still based in Paris, in 1999 he appeared in his own film FAREWELL HOME, SWEET HOME which won the Prix FIPRESCI at the European Film Awards. In 2002, Iosseliani returned to Berlin with MONDAY MORNING. The film played in competition and received the Silver Bear for Best Director.

    Otar Iosseliani died on 17 December 2023. We will miss him.