Paris, France: Now celebrating an 11-year unique collaborative relationship, the Brisbane-based Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will present a special gala Q&A screening of the Georgian film Dede, winner of the 2017 APSA Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO. The event embodies the shared common goals of APSA and UNESCO to promote diversity of cultural expression and raise awareness of the value and power of culture and cultural industries at local, national and international levels.

The screening, which will take place on Tuesday 12 December at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, is the fourth screening of its kind, following similar screening events for all of the APSA-winning films in this category since 2014’s Memories on Stone. The screening takes place in the margins of the Intergovernmental Committee meeting for the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.  The Dede screening will be presented by Jyoti Hosagrahar, Director, Division for Creativity, UNESCO Culture Sector and John Kirby AM, member of the APSA Advisory Board.

Jyoti Hosagrahar, Director, Division for Creativity, UNESCO Culture Sector said, “The 2005 Convention highlights the important role of the cultural and creative industries – including the film industry – in building vibrant, creative and inclusive societies.”

Following her recent APSA win in November, Georgian director Mariam Khatchvani will attend the Paris screening, which will be followed by a Q&A event with the audience. Khatchvani was at the APSA ceremony on 23 November in Brisbane, Australia where she was presented with her winning APSA vessel by Oscar® nominated Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent). Dede is the debut feature for Khatchvani, who is the first female filmmaker to win the prestigious APSA Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO.

Dede (Georgia, Croatia, Netherlands, Qatar, United Kingdom), the story of a young woman challenging a centuries-old traditional way of life, was filmed on location in the historic UNESCO World Heritage site of Upper Svaneti in north-west Georgia. With initial screenplay development as part of a Sundance Institute programme, Dede premiered on screen at the 2017 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Mariam Khatchvani, director of Dede said “It was an overwhelming experience to win such a special award and I am looking forward to presenting the screening of Dede at UNESCO in Paris. It will be a great honour and a privilege to share my film with this international audience who care so much about preserving culture. The story of Dede is based upon and dedicated to my grandmother’s real life experience. As such, it was important to me to retain a palpable sense of authenticity and to show a community and a way of life, which has not been seen on film before. I worked with Svans (native peoples from the region), some of whom had no acting experience. They speak the native language, Svanetian (spoken by about 10, 000 people in that area of Georgia), and live in a beautiful natural backdrop. It’s something of a paradise there, and this is the reason why the locals don’t leave this place, even though life can be difficult. And this is certainly the case for the lead character of Dina – she is a woman who finds her life dictated by the weight of tradition, but who is deeply rooted in her community nonetheless. For me to tell this story is very important because some of our traditions have caused a number of human dramas, especially for women, and I want to share these stories and to show that these things should not exist in our lives anymore.”

Chairman of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and its Academy, Michael Hawkins said, “This screening with UNESCO is a highly rewarding event. To see the UNESCO delegates from all around the globe have the opportunity to engage with these Asia Pacific films and filmmakers and their art and culture in such a direct way is a unique and often moving experience. To screen in France in particular is highly appropriate, as many of the APSA nominated and winning films each year have been made with French support in a co-production capacity.”

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