Keep Smiling

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    Keep Smiling

    Directed by

    France, Georgia, Luxemburg

    2012

    91 min

    • Georgian

    Drama

      Venice IFF, Venice DaysGeorgian Submission for the Academy Awards

    The film recounts the dramatic events that take place at a beauty contest involving ten mothers, five of whom belong to the poorest sections of society, and their many children. The mothers are desperately trying to win a beauty contest which main prize is an apartment and $25,000. Dreams are quick to vanish as realization dawns that the competition is a complete farce. The media and organizers of the show are exploiting the misfortunes of the participants: Georgian women, the Abkhazian war and patriotism are all themes constituting a ploy to create entertainment for the audience, ending up causing a massive fight among participants.
    "While shooting a documentary, I met a beautiful, intelligent woman, and the mother of seven kids, who told me how she took part in a beauty contest for mothers. I was swayed by ambivalent feelings as I listened to her. It was a tragic painful story, yet at times so absurd that I could hardly refrain from laughing. I decided immediately that somehow I was going to make a film out of it. Keep Smiling is a heartfelt story, a vast reservoir of pain but told with satiric humour, a tale of six Georgian women taking part in a beauty contest of mothers. The media and organizers exploit the participants' human tragedies: the lives of Georgian women, the Abkhazian war, patriotism. The film is about how easy it is to become a puppet in somebody´s hands and how hard it is to retain self-respect. Is it right that the end justifies the means? And does winning at the price of lost dignity make one happy?"

    Awards

    • Special Mention - Tbilisi IFF
    • Special Jury Award - Antalya FF
    • CICAE Award - VIlnius IFF
    • ECUMENIC Jury Award - Yerevan IFF
    • Golden Antigone - Cinemed Mediterranean Film Festival of Montpellier
    • FICC Jury Award Don Quijote - Tallinn Black Nights FF

    Credits

    Cast
    Olga Legrand
    Nana Shonia
    Tamar Bziava
    Screenplay
    Rusudan Chkonia
    Cinematography
    Konsantine Esadze
    Editing
    Jean-Pierre Bloc
    Rusudan Chkonia
    Levan Kukhasvili
    Sales
    DOC & FILM INTERNATIONAL
    Production
    EX NIHILO
    Production
    NIKE STUDIO

    Press

    Rusudan Chkonia

    Rusudan Chkonia

    Georgia

    I'm trying to make movies.

    Rusudan Chkonia was born in 1978 in Tbilisi, Georgia. In 2001 she graduated from Georgian Shota Rustaveli State University of Theatre & Film, with degree in directing. She has written and directed two short films and two documentaries, which have been screened at many international film festivals. Her graduation film CHILDREN WITHOUT A NAME has won several international awards, she was participating with her project KEEP SMILING in the project - training program AVANTI, implemented by FOCAL - Foundation for professional training in cinema and audiovisual media and funded by SDC - Swiss Development Agency and won a grant, this project also won the award at TALENT HIGLIGHT PICH at the BERLINALE CO-PRODUCTON MARKET. KEEP SMILING is the story of ten women trying to win in a beauty contest for mothers with many children. The fight without rules in which any means can be used...