To celebrate International Women's Day, the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France - in partnership with theEmbassy of Georgia - presents Keep Smiling, a film directed by distinguished Georgian filmmaker, Rusudan Chkonia. The film takes place in Tbilisi in the early 1990s, at the moment when the Georgian television organizes a show to select the "Best Mother of the Year." Eager to win an apartment and 25,000 dollars as the prize, ten mothers decide to join the televised competition. Aspiring to a better life, these women are willing to put up with an unforgiving show that knows no rules except that to... keep smiling.
The idea to produce this film came to Chkonia about seven years ago, at a time when she was preparing a documentary about the orphanage in the small village of Bediani in eastern Georgia. She met with a woman who was mother of seven children, and who was living in an IDP camp after failing to settle in Tbilisi.
As Chkonia recalls, one day over the tea, the woman remembered an episode that marked her deeply: participating in the 1990s in a beauty pageant for mothers with many children. She had participated in it with the hope to win the money prize that her family needed so badly, yet she was unsuccessful. Inspired by this human story, Chkonia transformed it into a cinematic production.
Lets get together at the Georgian wine reception after the screening.
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