Born in 1934 in Tbilisi, Georgia, Otar Iosseliani studied music brilliantly before starting scientific studies in Moscow, which he abandoned to join the National Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. His first short films Aquarelle (1958) and April (1961) were blacklisted in the USSR. His first feature-length film, Falling Leaves (1966), traces the daily life of a peasant community in a very impressionist style. His art of contemplative distance, similar to Jacques Tati’s, his acknowledged master, asserted itself with Once Upon A Time There Was A Singing Blackbird (1971) and Pastorale (1976). His work totters between fiction and documentary. His attraction to purely visual language brought him closer to the authors of the Nouvelle Vague Française: François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard. Despite their creator’s international reputation, these films were banned from export for many years. Based in France since 1982, Iosseliani directed his first French film Favorites of the Moon in 1984, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Mostra. He then shot And Then There Was Light (1989), Chasing Butterflies (1991), Brigands, Chapter VII (1995), Monday Morning (2001) – Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival, Gardens in Autumn (2005). Outside his country, Otar Iosseliani manages to keep the humanist vision nuanced with humor and irony that made the success of his Georgian films. His latest film Chantrapas (2009) is an ode to freedom. It follows the story of a young director (alter ego of the author) who makes no compromise with censorship, whether ideological or economic, in the name of freedom of creative thought. He has also directed several documentaries for television: Euskadi (1982), A Little Monastery in Tuscany (1988) and Georgia, Alone, a documentary triptych of more than four hours about his country of origin.


The filmmaker follows the old gardener who, like a Demiurge, arranges nature to make it even more beautiful, creating beautiful floral compositions. The only color film made by Iosseliani before 1983.

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Two newlyweds settle in a new apartment, equipped with the bare essentials. Their life is happy but when the couple starts to pursue comfort and property, quarrels break out.

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La Fonte

After the banning of his second film April, Iosseliani worked for a few months in a metallurgical factory. A poetic and committed vision, the film La Fonte shows the harsh reality of the working-class world.

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Falling Leaves

Niko and Otar, two young graduates of the Institute of Oenology in Tbilisi, are hired by a wine coop. First loves accompany their discovery of professional life: Niko woos Marina, the prettiest girl in the factory. One day, they learn that to comply with the five-year plan management is marketing poor quality wine. FIPRESCI Prize [...]

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Once Upon A Time There Was A Singing Blackbird

Guia Agladze, dreamy and carefree, is a percussionist in the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. His professional life boils down to giving a roll of the timpani at the beginning and the end of a concert. In perpetual motion, Guia lives like a bird on a wire, subject to both friendly and emotional encounters.

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One summer, a quartet of musicians goes to a small village in the Georgian mountains to rehearse. They stay with a family in which three generations live together. Little by little, the inhabitants find themselves under the charm of the music and the girl of the house falls in love with one of the musicians. [...]

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La caméra d’Otar Iosseliani suit les préparatifs de la fête pastorale à Pagolle au Pays Basque. Chants, danses, gestes et mouvements de cette culture très vivace sont captés avec minutie et attention. Le documentaire laisse transparaitre la tendresse et la nostalgie du réalisateur pour son pays natal.

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