Filmstiftung-backed „Taming the Garden“ in the Competition of the 37th Sundance Film Festival
- Filmstiftung NRW supported international co-production by Cologne’s Corso Film
- World premiere on 31 January, 2021 in the World Cinema Documentary Competition
- Sundance Film Festival from 28 Januar to 3 February, 2021 largely online
Thursday, 28 January, 2021 will see the start of the 37th Sundance Film Festival which will be running until 3 February mainly in an online format and partially as a physical event. The Filmstiftung-backed co-production „Taming the Garden“ by Salomé Jashi was invited to screen in the World Cinema Documentary Competition and will have its world premiere on Sunday, 31 January, 2021 as an online stream. Selected „satellite screens“ throughout the USA will show parts of the programme at venues including pop-up cinemas, drive-ins and open air screenings.
About „Taming the Garden“
A powerful man buys some 100-year-old trees, as tall as 15-storey buildings, has them uprooted from along Georgia’s coastline and gathers them in his garden. In a complex and expensive procedure, the trees are dug up from private gardens and public spaces, loaded on to two joined lorries and transported to the shore. They are then put on a ferry which sails across the Black Sea to the billionaire’s garden which is hidden behind a high-security fence. The billionaire in question is Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia’s former prime minister, who continues to control the country’s fortunes like an ephemeral figure. However, the trees themselves are the film’s main characters. They lead us to their owners, to the workers who dig them up, and to the billionaire. The film thus describes the social dynamics between rich and poor and between the powerful and the weak as well as focusing on political despotism and social resistance.
Cologne’s Corso Film co-produced the documentary with Mira Film (Switzerland) and Sakdoc (Georgia) in association with the broadcasters Radio Bremen/ARTE, SRF and YLE. Funding apart from the Filmstiftung included Eurimages, Federal Office of Culture CH, Expert Committee on Film and Media Art in Basle, Georgian National Film Center and the IDFA Bertha Fund.
Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival is one of the most important international festivals for independent cinema and is organised by the Sundance Institute (Park City, Utah) which was co-founded by Robert Redford in 1981.
More information at festival.sundance.org