The feature film «Corn island» directed by Georgi Ovashvili, created in 2014 with the participation of Kazakhstan, Georgia, Germany, France and the Czech Republic, is recognized as one of the best foreign films of the decade that were not released in the United States, according to the world's leading film magazine “Variety”. The movie was supported by the “Kazakhfilm” studio on the Kazakh side, where Sain Gabdullin was an initiative producer.
A selection of «Unseen Gems» was compiled by “Variety's” chief film critic Peter Debrug. Analytical articles of authoritative industry publication “Variety” help distributors and festival representatives to select films that are worthy of being released on the wide screen.
“ It pains me to think U.S. audiences never got a chance to see these films. Find them any way you can!”,- Debrug advises for the readers.
The movie tells the story of an elderly peasant who comes to a tiny island in the middle of the river to grow corn there along with his young granddaughter. This is a touching story about kinship and spiritual closeness, about the daily work and survival of ordinary people. The role of the peasant was played by the Turkish actor Ilyas Salman, the role of the granddaughter was played by the Ossetian debutant actress Mariyam Buturishvili.
“We must pay tribute to the talent of the Director, who raised the prestige of five countries at once with his work. I met Georgi Ovashvili in 2004 in Morocco, and later I produced his feature-length debut “The Other side”, which eventually entered the Berlin film festival program, as well as the European film Academy nomination in 2009. We decided to continue our successful cooperation in the “Corn island” project”, - said Sain Gabdullin, the film's initiative producer.
The world premiere of “Corn island” was held in 2014 as a part of the international film festival in Karlovy vary, where the film won the Grand Prix and The prize of the Ecumenical jury.
The same year “Corn island” was nominated for the Academy award from Georgia and was shortlisted in the category “Best foreign language film”.
Ovashvili's movie was awarded the Grand Prix and the award for “Best cinematography” at the “KINOSHOCK” festival in Anapa (Russia). The film also won the prize for “Best cinematography” at the “Listopad” festival in Minsk (Belarus).
The film managed to take part in 70 film festivals, including the most prestigious international festivals in Cannes, Busan and San Sebastian. «Corn island» got 32 film awards in total, including:
FILM FROM THE SOUTH (Oslo, Norway)/ Main Competition - Special Mention of the Jury/
MOSTRA DE CINEMA (Sao Paulo, Brazil) - New director’s competition – Critics Award – Honorable Mention.
ATHENS PANORAMA OF EUROPEAN CINEMA (Athens, Greece). Audience Award (Best Film); International Critics Prize.
SAN MARINO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (San Marino). Official Competition – Best Director & Best Actress.
36th INTERNATIONAL MEDITERRANEAN FILM FESTIVAL (Montpellier, France). Official selection - Features Competition - Best Film, Best Music, Critics' Award and Grand Prize of the Festival – “Golden Antigone”.