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?"
- 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
- Olga Legrand
- Nana Shonia
- Tamar Bziava
- Rusudan Chkonia
- Konsantine Esadze
- Jean-Pierre Bloc
- Rusudan Chkonia
- Levan Kukhasvili
- DOC & FILM INTERNATIONAL
- EX NIHILO
- NIKE STUDIO
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...