Passion and inspiration

Nino Orjonikidze pitching her film at the East Doc Platform in Prague.

Nino Orjonikidze is a documentary filmmaker. She’s also an instructor at the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management. Last weekend she and her co-director, Vano Arsenishvili, were in Prague pitching their latest film, English Teacher. Today she was in Tbilisi teaching TV Reporting. The two jobs complement each other well.

At the East Doc Platform, Nino and Vano were able to meet one-on-one with commissioning editors and potential buyers of their film. In fact they had meetings with representatives from seven companies, including POV (United States), Yle (Finland), Danish Public Broadcasting (Denmark), and DOK Leipzig (Germany). All seven companies expressed interest in the “rough cut” of English Teacher, but they want to see the “final cut.” Nino and Vano are participating in a Georgia National Film Center, and if all goes well, they will gain funding and use the money to finish their film. Then, after two months of post-production work, they’ll submit the final cut. Please click this link to see a trailer:

I asked Nino how her participation in the Institute of Documentary Film event benefits CSJMM students. She said that when she teaches documentary film later in March, she will give students the same experience she had in Prague. She’ll require students to pitch their film idea, with some visuals, to a panel of industry representatives. This panel will then select the one or two best projects, and IREX and GIPA will finance these student’s documentary films. Nino added that the most important thing she can share with students is her passion for documentary filmmaking.

Then I asked Nino how teaching students benefits her work as a documentary filmmaker. She said that her students inspire her because they help her see things differently. Students are exploring, they are searching for new ideas, developing their own vision, and their own voice. Sometimes their ideas are crazy, or at least not very realistic, Nino said, but their ideas are fresh and interesting. Moreover, some of the students are very talented even though they’ve only been studying video for a few weeks.

The mingling of talent, energy and new ideas among the students and instructors fuels the passion and inspiration in everyone.


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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