Instructions for Survival

Dir. Yana Ugrekhelidze, Germany, 2021, 72´

Berlin IFF – Perspektive Deutches Kino, Ann Arbor Film Festival, DOK.Fest Munich, Inside Out Toronto

Territories: World except of Germany and Georgia

Alexandre is a transgender person who has lived with his girlfriend Marie for more than seven years. Because of the mark “female” in his passport and his trans identity, Alexandre cannot find a job and has to lead a secret life. The violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity brings the couple to the decision to leave their homeland. To afford this exodus, Marie signs a contract to be a surrogate mother. Instructions for Survival narrates the love between two people whose lives are a constant battle but who stick together against all odds.

Category: Debut, LGBTQ, Human Rights, Portrait, Love story, Family, Refugees

Jule Katinka Cramer’s camera is present but never too intrusive, even though it often follows the subjects from a minimal distance. The whole story is told by Ugrekhelidze with great tact and sensitivity. Davide Abbatescianni, Cineuropa, March 8, 2021


Interview with the director during Berlinale


Born in Tbilisi, Georgia 1984. After graduating with a degree in translation and linguistics in Georgia, she took BA in communication design at the Peter Behrens School of Arts in Düsseldorf and a diploma in film and animation at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. Her first animated film, Summer Story, premiered at the 2017 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and was a semi-finalist in the Student Academy Awards.Her graduation film Armed Lullaby was premiered on 69.Berlinale in Generation Section. Instructions for survival is Yanas debut film.  

DIRECTOR Yana Ugrekhelidze

CINEMATOGRAPHY Jule Katinka Cramer

MONTAGE Agata Wozniak

SOUND Yana Ugrekhelidze, Malin Schmidt

MUSIC Lennart Saathoff, Mikhail Khimakov

PRODUCERS Yana Ugrekhelidze, Revaz Meliqishvili (Georgia)

PRODUCTION Fortus Fem Film

  • Rino: The Spy Story

  • Shelter – Farewell to Eden

  • Songs for Kit