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NHNew Horizons

Keep Smiling

Keep Smiling

Original Title: Keep Smiling Anu Gagigimet
Director: Rusudan Chkonia
Georgia, France, Luxembourg | Georgian
2012 | 91min. | Colour
Subtitles: Arabic and English
Format: DCP
12+
A memorable tragicomedy set in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, Rusudan Chkonia’s Keep Smiling is the story of 10 women and their fierce rivalry to win a beauty contest for mothers who have borne several children. Competing in five categories, including Best Cook and Super Mother, the prize they’re desperate to win is an apartment and $25,000.

The contestants, charming and ambitious, start out with high hopes and great expectations. Their dreams, however, are soon shattered when they realise that the whole thing is a charade.

The participants become pawns for the media and contest organizers who shamelessly exploit their underprivileged circumstances for entertainment value. In this ludicrous microcosmos the women not only have to deal with each other, their families and the society they live in, but they also must confront themselves in order to preserve their self-respect and dignity.

The seeds of the film were planted when the director met a woman with seven kids who had participated in a similar beauty contest. “It was a tragic, painful story, yet at times so absurd that I could hardly refrain from laughing,' Chkonia says, describing the feeling she has attempted to recreate in her feature debut. She has succeedeed at relating a heartfelt story filled with great humour and humanism while offering a multi-faceted look at contemporary Georgia.

– Özge Calafato

Director,  Rusudan Chkonia

Director,  Rusudan Chkonia

Rusudan Chkonia was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. She graduated from the Georgian State University of Television and Film in 2001. Her short films, including Bediani – Lucky Village (2001) and Land of Promise (2002), earned numerous prizes. In 2005-06, she took part in the Berlinale Talent Campus and then Cannes’ Cinéfondation in 2007. Keep Smiling (2012) is her debut feature.

Cast and Crew

Director
Rusudan Chkonia
Cast
Ia Sukhitashvili, Gia Roinishvili, Olga Babluani, Tamuna Bukhnikashvili, Nana Shonia, Shorena Begashvili, Maka Chichua, Eka Kartvelishvili, Lela Metreveli, Ia Ninidze, Beka Elbakidze.
Production Company
Nikê studio, Agat Films & Ex Nihilo, Luxemburgishamsa Films , Alvy Productions
Producer
Rusudan Chkonia, Nicolas Blanc
Screenwriter
Rusudan Chkonia
Editor
Jean Pierre Bloc, Levan Kukhashvili, Rusudan Chkonia
Cinematographer
Konnstantin Mindia Esadze
Art Director
Sopo Bazgadze
Sound
Paata Godziashvili
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