The most popular topic for discussion on social networks, as well as by the online and traditional media, this weekend was the premiere of Renny Harlin's movie about the 2008 Georgia-Russia war, called “5 Days of August.”
Not only was the director himself in town for the event, but so were the film's actors Andy Garcia, Dean Cain and others. However, the most important guest invited for the premiere was Hollywood actress Sharon Stone.
Flying in from Moscow where she attended the Muz.TV Awards, Stone arrived a day before the film crew who flew all the way from Los Angeles. Preparation and media coverage days before her arrival fed the online commentary [ka]:
უკვე რამდენიმე დღეა, რაც თბილისი შერონის ქალაქად ან “შერონსთაუნად” (“Sharon’s town“) არის ქცეული. ჩვენ შერონით ვსუნთქავთ, შერონით ვხედავთ, შერონით გვესმის და შერონით განვიცდით.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili even hosted the actress on her first night, introducing her to night views of Tbilisi from the Presidential Palace. The tour of his official residence also turned out to be fun for the host as well as the guest. Footage was widely aired on Georgian television and shared on social networks.
Before attending the premiere of Harlin's movie today, Stone even met with the country's spiritual leader, the Patriarch of Georgia, and was also spotted on the streets of old Tbilisi by many people.
@bicyclemark: Ran into Sharon Stone twice today on the streets of Tbilisi. We looked at each other for 2 seconds and then went back to being tourists.
@bicyclemark: right after she walked passed me some old american couple greeted her, shook her hand and side bye. hmm could have done that.
@lakobukia: I am gonna see Sharon Stone tonight, OMG I AM SOOOO EXCITED
@mziakupunia: Crowds gathered at Rustaveli cinema greeted Sharon Stone and Andy Garcia with loud cheers and applauds.
Meanwhile, a group of students gathered in front of the Radisson Blue hotel where the Hollywood stars were staying, protesting what they considered to be pompous arrangements for the premiere, holding posters reading “Basic instincts against basic values”, “Enough, give money to refugees,” and “Cheap propaganda is not art” in a less than veiled reference to criticism of Harlin's movie by some film critics. News agencies reported and Forum.ge picked the topic up with further discussion.
Doin.ge, whose extended post criticizes local media coverage [ka], also predicts that it will get worse after the Hollywood actress leaves Tbilisi:
“შერონის პირველი დღე თბილისში”, “შერონის მეორე დღე თბილისში”, “შერონი ქართულ რესტორანში”, “შერონმა წაუცეკვა”, “ჰოლივუდის ვარსკვლავს მშვიდობის ხიდი მოეწონა”, “შერონი მხარს უჭერს საქართველოს სუვერენიტეტს და ტერიტორიულ მთლიანობას”, “შერონი გმობს პუტინის ოკუპანტურ რეჟიმს”, “შერონი ჩაფრინდა და იწერება – კარგად ვარო”, “შერონს ქართული სუფრა ენატრება” და მრავალი.
Sharon Stone leaves Georgia on Monday.