Film Screening Canceled In Georgia Amid Protests

By RFE/RL's Georgian Service
May 14, 2014

The premiere of a movie has been canceled in Georgia amid protests over its homosexual content.

Film director Otar Mikeladze said he was forced to postpone his plan to present his gay-rights comedy "We Are Mad" on May 17 -- the International Day Against Homophobia -- fearing for his own safety and possible repercussions.

Mikeladze told journalists that he and his producer, David Bezhitaishvili, have been pressured and threatened by adherents of the Georgian Orthodox Church over the movie.

Last month, a radical Christian group, the Union of Orthodox Parents, protested in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi, demanding a ban on any public screenings of the comedy.

On May 12, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, reiterated his stance against "gay propaganda" and called on Georgians to mark a new day of Strength of Family and Respect for Parents on May 17.