Georgian filmmaker Otar Iosseliani dies at 89

Otar Iosseliani, an award-winning filmmaker, has died in his native Georgia, his French distributor said Sunday. He was 89.

His death on Saturday night was confirmed by Regine Vial, from the Les Films du Losange company.

Iosseliani was born in Tbilisi and studied at the VGIK cinema school in Moscow in the 1950’s. His early films in Georgia — “Falling Leaves” and “Pastorale” — won him an international following.

In the early 1980’s he moved to France where he would live much of the rest of his life and where he made “Favourites of the Moon”, which won a special jury prize at the Venice Film Festival.

It was the first in a series of wins at Venice for his films.

Iosseliani won the Louis-Delluc prize in France in 1999 for “Farewell, Home Sweet Home” and headed one of the Cannes Film Festival’s juries in 2000.

And in 2002 he picked up two prizes, including Best Director, for “Monday Morning” at the Berlin Film Festival.

His films were known for their imagination and ironic aloofness.

He once said he wanted his films to be a “gift to someone I don’t know but who has the same ideas as I do.”


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