Founded in 2018 by the Culture & Education Foundation and the National Youth and Children’s Palace, Taoba is the only international youth film festival in Georgia dedicated to young audience development and the promotion of film education.
Taoba’s mission is to enable the development of young people’s critical, creative and analytical skills and to stimulate dialogue on important social issues through film. The festival aims to stimulate social changes and to foster the talents of young people through masterclasses and lectures, as well as to support their participation in film festivals abroad.
During the annual Taoba festival, 300 selected teenagers (13-18 years old) participate in festival activities on a daily basis. Foreign participants are delegated by partner institutions/festivals. Together they watch films, participate in discussions and masterclasses and enjoy the beauty of Tbilisi. In the next edition of Taoba, postponed until 7-11 September 2020 for reasons of international health, the festival expects participants from 10 countries. As one of last year’s Taoba participants stated in his evaluation: “This festival made me realise that the power of my own opinion doesn’t necessarily make my life easier, but it definitely makes it more interesting.”
Core components of the Taoba festival are:
– The film programme contains an International Competition of Feature Films and an International Competition of Short Film, plus a Young Audience Award.
– The Education programme consists of approximately 40 hours of lectures, masterclasses and workshops. Topics include (among others) production, directing, film criticism, art history, literature, script development and interactive media.
– Taoba Academy is a project for 19-21 year old students, supporting the skills development of students with a professional interest in cinema.
– Entertainment, including games, DJ sets, concerts etc.
– Community events: In partnership with the French Institute of Georgia and the Goethe-Institut Georgien, Taoba organises free film screenings.
Taoba wants to broaden its international network and is currently involved in an application for a Creative Europe project. There is also the ambition to support active research and exchange on media education through organising an international conference. These international ambitions were one of the reasons for Taoba to recently join ECFA.