Otar Iosseliani

Film director
Otar Iosseliani (born in 1934) is a Georgian-French film maker. He was born in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi, where he studied at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire and graduated in 1952 with a diploma in composition, conducting and piano. In 1953 he went to Moscow to study at the faculty of mathematics, but in two years he quit and entered the State Film Institute (VGIK) where his teachers were the famous Russian film directors Alexander Dovzhenko and Mikhail Chiaureli. While still a student, he began working at the Gruziafilm studios in Tbilisi, first as an assistant director and then as an editor of documentaries. In 1958 he directed his first short film Akvarel. In 1961 he graduated from VGIK with a diploma in film direction. When his medium-length film Aprili (1961) was denied theatrical distribution, Iosseliani abandoned filmmaking and in the next few years worked first as a sailor on a fishing boat and then at the Rustavi metallurgical factory. Aprili was finally released only in 1972. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union he continued to work in France. Otar Iosseliani has released over 20 films, some of which were presented at the Film Festivals in Cannes and Berlin. In 1995 he was a member of the jury at the 19th Moscow International Film Festival. In 2015, with support from BE OPEN Foundation, Iosseliani presented his new film Winter Song.