Snow and the Bear: A Journey into a Frozen Microcosm

The Georgian London Film Festival: A Celebration of Cinematic Excellence

The Georgian Film Festival, held in London, is a testament to the rich cinematic heritage of Georgia. A platform that brings together classic and contemporary films, it offers filmmakers, critics, and enthusiasts an opportunity to delve into the diverse narratives and artistic expressions of Georgian cinema. Rooted in deep cultural traditions, the festival not only showcases the country’s cinematic milestones but also fosters dialogue and collaboration among international film communities.

This year, the festival has chosen a theme that resonates deeply with current global events: “Reflections on the Black Sea.” Scheduled to take place from September 28th to October 3rd at Ciné Lumière, the festival backdrop is set against the geopolitical significance of the Black Sea, especially in the wake of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. The festival offers a unique blend of contemporary world cinema from countries like Georgia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine, dating back to the 1920s. It provides a rare opportunity to watch previously banned silent films from the 1920s with live piano accompaniment. Through these films, the festival offers a deep dive into the lives and historical contexts of the people in these regions, beyond the headlines of conflict. Notably, the program emphasizes the experiences of women and the LGBTQ+ community, with nearly half of the films being directed by women.

Snow and the Bear: A Journey into a Frozen Microcosm

Set against the backdrop of a remote Turkish village blanketed in snow, “Snow and the Bear” is a cinematic exploration of a community seemingly frozen in time.

Directed and co-written by Selcen Ergun, the film delves deep into the life of a young city woman who, filled with a sense of duty and good intentions, finds herself in a cold, unwelcoming environment. As she grapples with establishing her professional authority and setting personal boundaries, the film sheds light on the power struggles that, while seemingly local, resonate universally.

At the forefront is Merve Dizdar, who plays the role of Aslı. Dizdar’s portrayal is nothing short of mesmerizing. With a natural flair for embodying complex characters, she captures the essence of a young city woman navigating the intricacies of a remote village. Her nuanced performance, filled with moments of vulnerability, determination, and resilience, serves as the emotional anchor of the film. Dizdar’s dedication to her craft is evident in every frame, and her ability to convey a spectrum of emotions adds depth to the storyline.

Supporting Dizdar are accomplished actors such as Saygın Soysal, Asiye Dinçsoy, and Erkan Bektaş, each bringing their unique touch to the film. Together, the ensemble cast creates a tapestry of characters that are both distinct and interconnected, making “Snow and the Bear” a cinematic experience worth cherishing.

The narrative is further enriched by the film’s portrayal of the village’s relationship with nature. Winter, initially depicted as a serene and peaceful entity, gradually morphs into a symbol of the unknown, enveloping the village in rumors and age-old rituals to ward off bears. Interestingly, the fear surrounding the anticipated arrival of the bear becomes a central theme, highlighting how sometimes the fear of an event can overshadow the event itself.

Ergun’s directorial debut has garnered attention from various international programs even during its early stages. The screenplay was recognized and developed under renowned programs such as Berlinale Talents, Nipkow AIR, Cannes Film Festival La Maison Des Scénaristes, and First Films First. A collaborative effort on an international scale, “Snow and the Bear” is a co-production between Turkey, Germany, and Serbia, supported by various international entities. The film’s post-production journey spanned multiple countries, from editing in Hamburg to music scoring in the United States, culminating in a unified and personal cinematic experience.

Film Screening Details

“Snow and the Bear” is set to have its London premiere on September 29th at 20:15. Those interested in attending can purchase tickets [here].

Additionally, the screening will be accompanied by an online Q&A session with the director, Selcen Ergun, providing attendees with a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the film’s creation and narrative. The presentation of the film will be done by Turquazz’s founder and filmmaker, Batu Akyol, adding another layer of depth to the viewing experience.

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