The International Festival of Animation Films «Nikozi» is an initiative of the art school and Cultural center in the village Nikozi.  

Vilage Nikozi is located in Shida Kartli Region, right in the center of the historical Kartli Region of Georgia, in the basin of river Liakhvi. The ancient episcopacy in this region was established by King Vakhtang Gorgasali in the 5th century and was abolished together with other episcopacies in Georgian during the Russian rule in 1811. New life came to the eparchy after reinstatement of independence Georgia in 1995.
There was a small animation film studio that functioned Nikozi monastery before 2008. Studio was wiped out together with other building of the monastery during the war August 2008. After the war, the animation film studio was rehabilitated and later in 2009 expended into an art school with the help and support from the side of the Embassy of Poland in Georgia, local governorate, European organization “KOBERM”, Embassy of Japan in Georgia and American organization “American Friends of Georgia”. School was rebuilt, reconstructed and equipped with the necessary equipment.
In the school of St. Alexandre Okropiridze – which is the name of Nikozi Art School, the local children, who had to live through the war, are offered classes in fine arts, music, choreography, folk musical instruments and singing, chanting, animation, theater of shadows, embroidery, foreign languages and computer proficiency. School also offers the training in rock climbing and the participants of this class already achieved significant success. Three students from the music (piano) class were referred to continue their studies at Tbilisi Music Seminary and one of them was enrolled in Tbilisi State Conservatory in the department of oboe and was invited to play in the orchestra of Zakaria Paliashvili Georgian State Theater of Opera and Ballet.
During the process of formation of Nikozi Art School and cooperation with international friends, the idea of hosting an international animation film festival was born and Nikozi Animation Film Festival has been carried out every year since 2011. The founder and organizer of the festival is St. Alexandre Okropiridze School of Arts of Nikozi.
The main trait that distinguishes Nikozi Animation Festival from other international festivals is that it is not a traditional competition that determines the winners in various nominations – Festival presents old and newly created masterpieces side by side. Festival participants and attendants get the opportunity to find out about new trends and developments in animation art around the world, meet with famous film directors and other representatives of cinematography. For the youth interested in animation arts, festival offers seminars and master classes. The students of Nikozi Art School present their work and performances in singing, dancing, theater and animation arts to the guest of the Festival. The Festival is accompanied with a cultural program that offers performances in classical and folk music and sightseeing trips.
Festival “Nikozi” is a place for popularization and development of animation art, but above all, since the 2008 war, it has gained particular importance for this region – instead of past destruction, it represents a call for reconstruction, mutual respect, cooperation and love!..
We will repeat the words from the speech of Yuri Norshtein, famous film director and animator, with which he addressed the first Animation Film Festival “Nikozi” in 2011:
Culture is our common homeland, it is beyond political barriers. It connects one person to another and extends our consciousness beyond our existence.
Your festival is a courageous opposition to destruction and misfortune. Your festival is the smile of love. It is easier to restore the bombarded houses than to cure an emotional shock at the sight of twisted life. Your festival is a spiritual healer, capable through justice, hope and beauty of life to restore peace of mind.
The festival friends of International festival “Nikozi” are famous festivals of Aunes, Dresden, Varna and Suzdal.
In 2017, International Committee of the Association of European Festivals awarded the status of an exceptional quality to three Georgian festivals; One of them was International Animation Festival “Nikozi” and two other Georgian Festivals that were named among the best European Festivals are:
Mikheli Tumanishvili International Festival “Gift”
International Music Festival of Batumi.
International Animation Film festival “Nikozi”
Therefore, International Animation Film Festival “Nikozi” is the member of European Association of Festivals – “Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe” that unites the festivals of outstanding artistic quality and of significant local, national and international influence. `

http://www.effe.eu/festivals?title=animation&date[min][date]=&date[max][date]=&country=All&genre=All&sort_by=field_festival_date_value&sort_order=ASC&page=1 

 

 

 

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The Nikozi Diocese is one of the first original 12 dioceses of Christian Georgia, was founded in the 5th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali, who in that century also moved the country’s capital from Mktskheta to Tbilisi.

 

 Nikozi cathadral

 

The Georgian Orthodox Church received its autocephaly from the Antioch Patriarchate in 457 A.D.  After the Russian Empire illegally abolished the autocephaly of the Georgian Church in 1811 and placed it under the Synod of the Russian Church, many dioceses were closed, including that of  Nikozi Eparchy.  The autocephaly of the Georgian Church was restored on March 12/25, 1917.  In 1995 the Nikozi Diocese was revived.  

 

The village Nikozi is located in the region of Shida Kartli (Inner Kartli) in the very heart of Georgia.  From the name Kartli originated the name of the entire country – Sakartvelo.

 

 Church&Episcopal Palace

 

 

The main monastery complex consists of the diocesan cathedral (Gvtaeba), the Church of the Ascension, located in Zemo (Upper) Nikozi.  Next to it is the Bishop’s Palace, dating back to the  9-10th centuries, the bell tower of the the 17th century. A little further is located  the Church of the Holy Archangels originating from the 10-11th centuries.

 

 The Bell Tower The Church of Archangels

Nikozi cathedral

 

 

Founded in the 5th century, the cathedral has undergone many architectural changes over the centuries.

 

 St.Razhden

 The relics of the Protomartyr of Georgia St. Razhden are buried inside the cathedral.  (St. Razhden, 5th c., was part of the royal entourage of the wife of King Vakhtang, and she was daughter of the Persian king.  St. Razhden himself was from a noble Persian family.  He converted to Christianity.  St. Razhden was a brave warrior and died a martyr's death, crucified by his former compatriots, who demanded that he renounce his Christian faith.)

 

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 In 1995 after the resumption of the diocese, Bishop Isaiah (Chanturia) was blessed by the Georgian Orthodox Church to be the ruling hierarch of the diocese

Metropolitan Isaiah studied in an art college, then continued his studies at the Tbilisi State Shota Rustaveli Theatrical Institute in the film department with a speciality in art-animation.  Over the years he worked in the animated films studio.  His graduate degree project was a 10-minute animated film, based on Georgian rhyming proverbs.

 

 

 After being tonsured a monk and consecrated bishop in 1995, Vladiko Isaiah founded a small animation studio at the monastery, while undertaking various activities in the diocese.

 

 

 

 

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During the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008, on August 11th after an air strike   burned and were destroyed the Bishop's Palace, a monastic apartment complex, a large library and an animation studio were built on its place. (Photogallery)

 

 Over the past years, with the help of both local and international charities, restored Bishop's Palace, the monastery is being rebuilt. The Polish state and friends helped to re-create an animation studio, to found a school of arts at the monastery, in which students study and animation along with other forms of art.

 

During the existence and activities of the Nikozi school of arts the idea of ​​the international festival of animation films was born.

 

 During the existence and activities of the School of Arts in   the idea of ​​the international festival of animated films was born.

 

 

Within the framework of the Festival works of participants will be shown at the festival; there is an exchange of views, experiences, development of new projects and ideas, filmmakers, animators and artists hold master classes for children as well as for professionals, art exhibitions, concerts, recitals, lectures.  For the participants and guests of the festival there is a program organized acquainting  with Georgian culture and ancient sights.

 

The festival is helping to revive the region, to give a new breath to the place and a real hope for its people.  The joy, openness, sincerity and truth of personal relationships for us are no less expensive and important than professional skills.

 

 The Festival «Nikozi» is very pleased to welcome each person, who comes to Georgia and participate in our festival.

 

 

Church inside

 

 

Terms of Participation