Editor's picks of 2021 - short docus 


This year was notable for discovering new talents for Chai Khana, visual storytellers we had never worked with before. The visual stories in this year's selection address the challenges of crossing borders and the limits to searching for one’s identity, imposed on us by life, politics or stereotypes. These filmmakers, too, try to push the limits of what is possible in the post pandemic, post conflict South Caucasus.

- Nino Orjonikidze Commissioning Editor of Chai Khana

You dreamed of a sparrow

Author: Anastasya Shumikhina

The year following her grandmother’s death due to Covid, Anastasia decides to travel to Sokhumi, Abkhazia, and discover the places she knew from her grandma’s tales. During her journey, Anastasia learns about Abkhazia’s past and present as well as her Greek, Armenian, Abkhaz, Georgian and Russian ancestors. She visits places where her family lived 30 years ago, gaining more understanding about the person she lost and, along the way, finding a way to accept her grandmother’s death. Her personal journey also reflects the shared journey of people living in Abkhazia, including painful memories and hopes for the future. 

In the corridor

Author: Amil Amal

Actor Rauf Shahsuvarov lives a double life: reality and the world he creates in his mind. The actor, who is currently away from the theater, works in construction to earn money even as he dreams of doing something great, like his grandfather, Nurmammad Shahsuvarov who was the Minister of Public Education and Religious Affairs in the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. Rauf’s dream is to return to the family’s native city of Lachin and build a theater there where he can perform. But so far, fate has other plans: last year Azerbaijan retook most of the territory it lost in the first Karabakh war, but Rauf’s city, Lachin, is still off limits.

Sweet Reality

Author: Aren Voskanyan

Twitter has become home to a unique Armenian community. The members of this community behave differently on Twitter than on other social networks: this film explores the dangers and benefits of that sweet reality. 

Google, where are you?

Author: Keti Vashagashvili

After an accident cost him his eyesight at 16, Nika struggled to find meaning in his life. After becoming a professional swimmer, he found a purpose and started to think positively about himself and his future. Google, where are you? is a short film about a young blind man trying to live his life to the fullest. The film follows Nika through a regular day, where digital technology serves as his bridge to education and entertainment, tools to help him truly experience life. 

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