Following its screenings at the Berlinale and Sundance festivals, the documentary Taming the Garden has earned filmmaker Salomé Jashi the Special Mention of the Young Jury Award at the Cinéma du réel international festival, with the French film event revealing its prize-winners on the weekend.
Running online between March 12-21, the 43rd edition of the festival saw the jury team single out the Swiss-German-Georgian co-production feature among the works that "sparked debate" on wider issues.
In their summary for the selection, the panel commended the film for showing a "tragic side of uprooting and the domination of man over man" through "the power of its mise en scene".
The filmmaker's lens observes the residents' reactions to the sudden development in their locality, illustrating differences in their response to the occurrence.
Some see financial incentives - new roads, handsome fees - while others angrily mourn the loss of what was assumed an immovable monolith of their town’s collective history and memory"
- Sundance Film Festival
The words of the French festival jury follow the acclaim for the documentary at Sundance for its "astonishing cinematic style" and for its director - recipient of awards from Jean Rouch and Nyon film festivals, among others - for "shrewdly observant eye".
Jashi's work follows "the surreal uprooting of ancient trees from their Georgian locales" (Sundance) for removal to distant locations.
The film screened in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Sundance before also being selected for the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. It involves photography by Jashi and Goga Devdariani and is produced by the director alongside Vadim Jendreyko, Erik Winker and Martin Roelly.
Taming the Garden is scheduled for further festival runs, with screenings at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Environmental Film Festival at Yale on the calendar among other dates.