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FEATURE STORY

Georgian Youth Takes On Climate Change with Film

February 26, 2015

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Zura Tegerashvili

Tamar Kobakhidze / World Bank

Zura Tegerashvili is a 17 year old student from Telavi, a small city in the Kakheti region of eastern Georgia. Like most students after high-school graduation, Zura moved to the capital city of Tbilisi, where he now studies law at Tbilisi State University. Zura’s real passion, however, is filmmaking – it has been ever since childhood. 

Several years ago, Zura drew inspiration from watching Charlie Chaplin movies and he decided to try something similar. The result was a funny, black and white, silent, short film called “A Little Story about Friendship.” 

Zura also runs a blog platform called “Kinogurmani”, which is dedicated to film and provides a network for friends who share the same passion and interest in cinema. 

“Film-making is the way we show everyone what is on our mind. Through our movies, we make people get engaged in different types of problems, like climate change, for instance,” says Zura. “The town where I live, Telavi, is a small one. From early childhood, I’ve seen quite a few severe ecological problems around me: deforestation, floods, landslides. I’m a part of this society and I’m concerned. We are young, and we say truth without fear, we are ready to take on challenges.”

Last year, with some of his friends, Zura decided to tackle a more serious topic such as climate change. The result was a short one-minute film called “It’s Easy if You Try”, which Zura then submitted to a competition called Action4Climate, organized as part of the Connect4Climate campaign. That’s when the unexpected happened.

Zura’s engaging video caught people’s attention – including world-renowned film director Bernardo Bertolucci, president of the jury for the Action4Climate competition.

On February 19th, Zura was invited to a small award ceremony at the World Bank office in Tbilisi. Henry Kerali, Regional Director for the South Caucasus, presented Zura with the prize for third place in the Action4Climate competition, in front of a gathering of World Bank staff and members of Georgia’s Youth Voices Group.

“We are very proud that a young Georgian man was among the winners of the very prestigious Action4Climate documentary competition held recently. Zura Tegerashvili was awarded the third prize by a distinguished jury for the short film he submitted to the competition,” Henry Kerali said at the award ceremony. “This shows the concerns and aspirations that young Georgian people have with regard to the climate change issues that face us all, irrespective of where we live or come from.”


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Zura receives his prize from Henry Kerali, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, at the World Bank office in Tbilisi.

Tamar Kobakhidze / World Bank


10 young film crews from 10 different countries around the world were chosen as winners in the Action4Climate competition. As a prize winner in the 14-17 age category, Zura received production equipment, including a GoPro and an iPad Mini, which can help him to hone his skills and talents – and hopefully inspire him to create more interesting climate change stories.

The Action4Climate competition challenged filmmakers to raise awareness of climate change, share experiences and inspire action by creating a video documentary. The response was overwhelming. More than 230 videos from 70 countries were submitted, bringing to life the serious consequences of climate change across the world and highlighting the actions taken by local communities to tackle it.

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Connect4Climate (C4C) is a campaign, a coalition and a community dedicated to stimulating local actions that will catalyze larger, international, multifaceted movements to deal with global warming and its impact on the planet. It works with more than 200 partner organizations around the world and is funded by the World Bank Group and the Italian Ministry of the Environment.


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