Bitter Sugar

Cannes Docs

Bitter Sugar

Original title: mtsare shaqari

Directed by: Ana Barjadze

Produced by: Irina Gelashvili (Radium Films, Georgia)

Country of production: Georgia

Runtime: 70' | 52'

Expected release: January, 2025

Production stage: Editing

Budget: €220 000 (60% in place)

1st feature: Yes

Looking for: Sales, Festival distributors, Impact producers


In a small Georgian town, three brothers gather around a video call to their mother. Their faces light up with joy as they see and hear her. She is in Italy, looking after an old lady. Their father is also a labor immigrant in Germany. For the boys, the only connection to the parents is through these distant phone calls and online parenthood. The boys mature as they come to terms with their parents’ absence for the sake of their own well-being. They are stuck in an endless « Waiting for Godot » cycle as they wait for the phone to ring.




Director’s profile:

Ana Barjadze was born in 1998. Studied at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film Georgia State University at the documentary-film directing faculty, now she’s studying at the DOC NOMADS Joint Master. She was at Jihlava Academy in 2020. She has shot seven short documentary films, which have been shown at several short film festivals. She made short documentaries for Georgian public broadcasts. She’s doing her first full-length project, « Bitter Sugar, » which was participated different developing programs, such as the Producers Connection at IDFA, Doclisboa, Doc Fest Munich. East Doc Platform, and EuroDoc, Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival and at Al Jazeera Documentary Industry Days was Awarded as work in progres project , Cannes Doc, Sunny Side of the Doc, and Movies That Matter Impact Awards. The project is also the winner of the Adami Media Prize.





Producer’s profile:

Irina Gelashvili is the founder and producer of Radium Films (2022), a production company uniting a group of talented individuals from Georgia. Based in Tbilisi, she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the Georgian Theater and Film University while actively engaging in multiple projects. Her journey has taken her to acclaimed markets and festivals like IDFA, CPH: DOX, Doc Lisboa, BelDocs, AJB, and more, where she pitched projects. Irina is dedicated to professional growth, participating in programs such as the B2B program, the Cinedoc mentorship program, the Eave Change program in 2023, and EuroDoc 2023. With her vast experience and unwavering dedication, Irina Gelashvili continues to leave a significant mark in the world of Georgian filmmaking.