An innovative project at the government aims to develop the games technology in Georgia.
4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes
In Georgia, the culture industries are in the process of development and have not yet been formally established, nor properly defined and analysed. Private companies offering cultural items and services (publishing houses, periodicals, providers of audio cassettes and CDs etc.), as a rule, are independent from state cultural policy and operate without any government support. Nevertheless, there are some partnerships between the Ministry of Culture, Monument Protection and Sport of Georgia and some companies engaged in the publishing business, concert activity etc. but, in general, the relations of central and local authorities with public agencies may be described as sporadic. The contacts between them are limited to non-permanent cultural events and projects.
Some state programmes are open to the private sector on a competition basis, for example with regard to the publication of books, where competition is open to all publishing houses regardless of their ownership. However, the selection of a winner is not effective in all cases as the criteria for selection is not adequately specified and this affects the decision-making process. Often selection in these competitions is not transparent.
The Tax Code of Georgia specifies some preferences for the importation of scientific, creative editions and fiction, books and periodicals where the authors are citizens of Georgia as well as for the importation of Georgian classics published abroad. Guidelines are also set for the distribution, import, sale and printing of periodicals and fiction. The state supports publishing activities through governmental programmes (e.g. the programme for promoting fiction and the publishing sector had a budget of 400 600 GEL in 2005). The publishing sector is developed more effectively than the cinema and showbiz sector which require a more powerful and stable economy and larger market than is available in Georgia. Until now the attempts to introduce an industrial model of development for the folk art and handicrafts sector in the context of the development of cultural tourism have not been successful.
There is a significant need to develop Georgian film production and distribution. The leading force in Georgian cinema is the film studio "Gruzia-Film", where 90% of the production capacities and cinematography staff are concentrated, and where most national films are produced. Some years ago the film studio was privatised and today it holds a special status in that two-thirds of the shares are held by the state. Today it is recognised by those working in the film industry that the privatisation process was managed incorrectly, as it has brought no investment and the studio is in a more difficult situation than previously.
In 2001, in order to rescue the cinema industry, the Ministry of Culture established the National Film Centre (http://www.filmcenter.ge/) which, to some extent, drove the reforms in the film sphere. The Fund for the Development of Georgian Cinema was also established with the aim of joining together cinematography forces in the country. However, the state still fails to meet the needs of film production. The budget of the Cinema Centre is only 870 000 GEL (2005) although, in 2007, its budget increased to 1 477 073 GEL, it is a very small portion (1.9%) of the budget of the Ministry of Culture, Monument Protection and Sport.
The situation in the film distribution network is poor as well. Only 4-5 cinema theatres in Georgia meet modern standards. One of the main problems in the operation of cinemas is the piracy operating in private TV companies (which show dozens of unauthorised films each day), despite the active work of the Georgian National Communications Committee. Another issue of concern is the dominance of American films which must be addressed by developing and propagating Georgian national and European cinema with the help of public television companies.
However, in recent years there have been a few positive moves in the film industry, including 6 international film festivals. Currently there are about 60 film and television, video and audio studios and about 20 NGOs operating in the field of cinematography. The portals http://www.geocinema.ge and http://www.geoscript have been created.
Cross-Border Cinema Culture (CBCC) is a new pilot project within the Kyiv Initiative carried out in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The project aim: support and development film production. http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/Regional/Kyiv/CBCC/Default_en.asp
Under commission by the Georgian National Film Centre, the "GeoGraphic" Company produced an electronic guide-book for film producers, which presents Georgia as a film friendly country. Information placed on the compact disc is in English and broken down in three sections such as: "Locations", "Film Making" and "About Georgia". The "Film Making" section contains information on film organisations, funds, educational institutions, film festivals, TV companies, movie theatres and film studios of Georgia, as well as brief review of Georgian film history. The "About Georgia" section presents general information about the country, its maps and regions, transport routes and tourism, as well as other useful information for foreign guests. Two laws, Law on State Support for Georgian Cinema and Law on Copyright and Allied Rights can be found in the same section.
Development and Training
Until now, attempts to introduce an industrial sector development model into the folklore and crafts sector (in order to further develop cultural tourism) were in vain.
However, there are single cases of positive practice:
However, the lack of appropriate integration into the industrial process (due to the current crisis in the Georgian economy and inadequate development of the cultural industries) and inadequate practical studies in these sectors minimise the chances for postgraduate employment. The situation is aggravated with the total disintegration of the vocational training system the new Law on Vocational Education (2007) has not been put fully into effect yet (see chapter 5 and chapter 8.3).
Recently, the list of the Creative Industry events taking place in Georgia has increased. The Creative Industries and Crafts Development Programme is one of the Georgian Art and Culture Centre's (GACC) main activities.
The GACC helps to facilitate international exhibitions of Georgian cultural goods, as well as developing the local market within Georgia. The GACC provides local marketing, competitions and sales through the Christmas Gift Fairs and the GACC Gift Shop <gift Shop/GalleryFR.htm>.
The new project "Development of Cultural Industries in the South Caucasus Countries through the introduction of the UK experience" is being organised within the framework of the British Council's "Creative Collaboration" programme which was launched in April 2009. The project will focus on cooperation between museums and producers in the partner countries - Armenia, Turkey, Georgia and the UK in the field of cultural industries, namely museum reproductions and traditional crafts that serve as a source for creative exchanges and economic benefits - not only for cultural institutions, but also for individual producers, artists and artisans. The long term goal of the project is to turn these craft traditions into creative and business joint ventures, using the extensive expertise and experience of the UK and other western countries.
The development of the creative industries is one of the priorities of the newly declared entrepreneurial cultural policy. In summer 2010, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia initiated an innovative project aimed at the promotion and development of the gaming industry in Georgia. Within this ministry, a special studio has been created to work on 3D games technology.