Levan Akin’s Swedish-Georgian production, And Then We Danced (2019), is Georgia’s first feature about gay love, provoking a crowd of five hundred men to force their way through a line of police in riot gear and into the Tbilisi premiere, according to BBC News. Discrimination against sexual orientation is illegal, but homophobic violence is still prevalent in Georgia’s right-wing culture, forcing many members of the LGBT community to lead double lives. The Georgian Orthodox Church, while condemning the protests, says the film is part of an agenda to normalize “the sin” of homosexuality; this comes after a bishop accused senior clergy of gay sex on live television.
Female film workers in Georgia fear for their careers after Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a law banning most abortions at six weeks and liberal celebrities like Alyssa Milano, David Simon, and George Takei called for Hollywood to pull out of the state, according to the Los Angeles Times. Many of these women were already activists who marched on the capitol to protest the bill before it became law, and they say the entertainment industry should instead fund local groups opposed to the legislation, rather than boycott the state altogether. With their tax incentives for filmmaking companies, Georgia is the top filming location in the United States.