entertainment

'And Then We Danced': Watch an exclusive clip from the gay film which sparked protests in Georgia

The powerful new drama charts the sexual awakening of a young dancer in the Georgian National Ensemble.

2020-03-04

Since being screen at Cannes last year, Swedish-Georgian drama And The We Danced has been making plenty of noise - thought not always for the happiest of reasons.

The powerful LGBTQ drama, which charts the sexual awakening of a young dancer, Merab (Levan 'Gelly' Gelbakhiani), sparked protests by ultra-right homophobes when it was screened Georgia, with riot police eventually being drafted in to ensure screenings could take place safely.

Now, as Gelbakhiani and director Levan Akin shed more light on the off-screen drama in Attitude's April Style issue - out now to download and to order globally - we're bringing you an exclusive clip from the film ahead of its UK release on 13 March.

The two-minute teaser sees Merab, a leading member of National Georgian Ensemble, begin to forge a personal bond with his charming rival Irakli (Bachi Valishvili).

The on-screen chemistry between 22-year-old actor Gelly and his co-star Bachi was certainly no accident, as director Akin reveals to Attitude in our April Style issue.

Recalling the process of casting Bachi, he says: "It was instantly obvious that this was the person because he [Gelly] blushed, his neck became red."

"Blushing is the best sign that ‘OK, there’s energy here’."

'And Then We Danced' director Levan Akin and star Levan 'Gelly' Gelbakhiani, shot by Markus Bidaux exclusively for Attitude's April Style issue

Despite the obvious joy Gelly has taken from And Then We Danced, the rising Georgian star admits he initially rejected the role of Merab over concerns about the potential homophobic backlash in his home country - concerns which sadly proved well-founded.

“It was a scary thing for me because of the topic", Gelly admits.

"It’s a tiny country — three million people live there — and anyone can recognise [you]. It can be scary."

Despite travelling the world to promote And Then We Danced, Gelly has no plans to move away, however, in the hope that, one day, his home land will dance to a different beat.

"I really like my country, but there are lots of problems," he says.

"I want to stay there and fight for change."

Read the full feature on And Then We Danced in Attitude's April Style issue is out now to download and to order globally

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: save 45% on the cover price in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.