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Georgian film ‘The White Caravan’ (Tetri Karavani) is to return to the French Rivera and be displayed to the wide audiences at the Cannes Film Festival, 55 years after its first screening to the attendees of Festival.
Directed by Eldar Shengelaia and Tamaz Meliava in 1963, the 97-minute film will be presented along with the works of other filmmakers, including John Huston, Tao Jin and Gilles Grangier, within the scope of the new edition of Cannes Classics, dedicated to the heritage of cinema – world-renown films, as well as the features in the restored version from the countries rarely honored. Shengelaia will be among the guests of the event.
Involving a cast of popular Soviet Georgian actors,The White Caravan shows harsh conditions facing shepherds in the country’s remote highland provinces and a dilemma faced by their offspring lured by prospects of city life.
The feature centres around the family of shepherd Martia Akhlouri, whose son Gela decides against continuing his father’s trade and leaves for a city. A regret follows the decision after the elder shepherd, left without his son’s help, is overwhelmed while scrambling to save his sheep in a hurricane and dies.
Shengelaia and Meliava based the 10-part film on screenplay by Merab Eliozishvili, as the feature was produced at the Georgian Film studio — known for Soviet Georgian classics created between the 1930s-1980s.
Shengelaia said in an interview about the shooting of the film the crew had spent three years producing it due to having to help shepherds manage sheep herds for scenes — hence only having enough time to shot “a single scene” during each filming day.
‘The White Caravan’ displays the challenges, shepherds, residing in mountainous regions have to face, strive of youngsters to leave for a city and the frustration, followed by this decision.
The restoration of the film has been financed by the Georgian National Film Center and carried out by National Archives of Georgia and included work on color, grading and image stabilization.