Locarno to Give Lifetime Achievement Honor to Georgian Filmmaker Iosseliani

Otar Iosseliani P

The homage to Iosseliani will fit in with the festival's Open Doors section, which this year features Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

ROME – The Locarno Film Festival announced Thursday that it would honor Georgian director and screenwriter Otar Iosseliani with the event’s prestigious career achievement prize at the 66th edition of the venerable Swiss festival.

As part of the program in his honor, the 79-year-old Iosseliani will participate in a special round-table discussion of his work, and will be on hand for the screenings of four of his films: Iko shashvi mgalobeli (The Was a Singing Blackbird) (1970), Pastoral (1975), Venice Jury Prize winner Brigands, Chapter VII (1996), and Chantrapas (2010).

The decision to honor Iosseliani, who has lived in Paris for 30 years, fits in with the festival’s 2013 Open Doors section, which this year will focus on productions from the Southern Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

“Giving Iosseliani a career prize is in line with the Locarno Film Festival’s mission to make room for those highly individual voices that characterize contemporary cinema and offer them both a welcome and a showcase,” said first-year Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian, who called Iosseliani’s work “an ode to freedom.”

The festival announced in November that My Fair Lady director George Cukor would be the subject of its main retrospective at this year’s edition.

The lakeside Swiss festival will be held this year August 7-17.