Film Funding

All Projects

City of the Sun

Spring Grants 2016

للترجمة العربية اضغط على

Rati Oneli / Feature Documentary / Georgia, United States of America, Netherlands, Qatar / 2017 / 103 min / Colour


Imagined as a city of the future during the Soviet era, the once-celebrated manganese-mining town of Chiatura in Georgia is now all but abandoned, crumbling around those who still inhabit it. The film’s title is perhaps ironic – this is no Disneyland, the famed network of cable cars notwithstanding. And yet, as anywhere, people live their lives and go about their daily business. There is joy here, and there are the usual challenges.

Zurab is a music teacher by day; he spends his spare time dismantling – with his hands and a sledgehammer, mind you – disused and decaying concrete silos, in order to sell the rebar as scrap metal. Archil works in the still-operational mines, but he has fallen in love with the theatre and wonders whether he would be better off quitting his job to spend more time acting. And two young sisters, living in malnourished poverty, train for the Olympics, their daily runs cheered on by supportive fellow citizens.

Rati Oneli’s ‘City of the Sun’ takes us on a languourous tour of this place of faded glory, building a portrait of a city and its people that is comfortably familiar at the same time that it verges on otherwordly.


Rati Oneli
Rati Oneli, Dea Kulumbegashvili
Rati Oneli, Dea Kulumbegashvili
Production Company
Office of Film Architecture

About the Director

Rati Oneli was born in Tbilisi. He lived in New York City from 1999 to 2014, when he moved to Georgia in order make his documentary ‘City of the Sun’. He specialised in Middle East Studies and International Affairs at the Free University of Tbilisi and at Columbia University in New York. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in Philosophy at the European Graduate School. In 2014, he produced and co-edited Dea Kulumbegashvili’s ‘Invisible Spaces’, a short film that premiered at the Festival de Cannes. In 2016, Rati Oneli produced Dea Kulumbegashvili’s second short film, ‘Lethe’, which had its premiere in the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes.

Awards and Festival History


"Berlinale 2017, Forum (WP)
Karlovy Vary IFF 2017, Another View
IDFA 2017, Camera in Focus - Best of Fests
San Francisco IFF 2018"


Heart of Sarajevo for Best Documentary Film, Sarajevo IFF 2017, Documentary Competition


  • Main Contact

    Rati Oneli


Questions regarding this project?


blog comments powered by Disqus