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IMA x Container | Daniel Bird: Restoring Parajanov

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Event description

Between 1966 and 1985, Sergei Parajanov (1924–1990) made three remarkable short films, Kyiv Frescoes (1967), Hakob Hovnatanyan (1967), and Arabesques on the Theme of Pirosmani (1985). One is a bricolage of camera tests from a film that was never made, while the others are original documentaries on two painters, Hakob Hovnatanyan (1809–1881) and the Georgian naif painter, Niko Pirosmani (1862–1918). However, in 2018 all three titles were in danger of disappearing from film history. 

Join us for an illustrated talk by film archivist and curator Daniel Bird, telling the story of the search for these films in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Russia. Bird will share the stories behind each of the three films, as well as those of the people who made them, not least Parajanov himself. It also tells the story of the people safeguarding the material legacy of Soviet-era cinema in times of international conflict.

Bird is a writer, curator, and documentary filmmaker. He has worked with Andrzej Żuławski, is the co-founder of Friends of Walerian Borowczyk, and directs a film preservation and restoration project concerning films from the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and Ukraine.


We are committed to making the IMA accessible to people of all abilities, their families, and carers, as well as visitors of different ages and different backgrounds.The gallery entrance is on the ground floor of the Judith Wright Arts Centre, on Berwick Street. There is wheelchair access and an accessible toilet with baby changing facilities also located on the ground floor, and we welcome guide and support dogs.To find out more, contact us at, call (07) 3252 5750, or ask our friendly staff on-site. Read our access information for visitors here.

Guest biography

Daniel Bird is a writer, filmmaker, and one of the world’s leading scholars on Eastern European cult cinema. He has curated numerous retrospectives, overseen film restorations, participated in DVD commentaries and is best known as the biographer of both Walerian Borowczyk and Andrzej Żuławski. 

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