Georgian filmmaker founds political 'Party of Wine'
Giorgi Shengelaia, who also owns his own wine-making company, said that the party would be aimed at developing the country's wine industry and supporting Georgian traditions.
Tbilisi -- A legendary Georgian filmmaker said Friday he was founding a political "Party of Wine" to extol the virtues of the Caucasus republic's wine-making traditions and historic national values.
Giorgi Shengelaia, who also owns his own wine-making company, told AFP that the party would be aimed at developing the country's wine industry and supporting Georgian traditions.
"Wine is a symbol of Georgia and a pillar of the Georgian economy," he said, adding that the party would also seek to highlight "the times of our history when morality and chivalry were in favour."
Shengelaia said the party would be in opposition to President Mikheil Saakashvili, who he called "immoral".
It would join forces with other anti-government parties, who have been holding daily protests in the capital Tbilisi since April 9 to demand Saakashvili's resignation.
A mountainous republic on the Black Sea, Georgia is considered by many experts as the cradle of wine-making.
Archaeological finds suggest it may have begun here as early as 8,000 years ago, long before it reached western Europe.
Shengelaia directed and acted in a series of classic and internationally recognised films before and after Georgia's 1991 independence from the Soviet Union, including "Alaverdoba," "Pirosmani" and "Vera District Melodies."