Instructions for Survival

Alexander’s transgender identity means he is obliged to lead a life of secrecy in his home country. Being identified as “female” in his passport means he cannot legally find work, either. Since even a visit to the doctor is a risk for him, he has begun hormone therapy to transition on his own with support from internet forums and the local transgender community. Desperate to escape their hopeless situation and leave the country, Alexander’s wife Mari decides to become a surrogate mother for 12,000 dollars. But their ostensibly pragmatic plan backfires when Alex and Mari gradually develop an emotional bond with the unborn child.
Instructions for Survival narrates the love between two people whose lives are a constant battle but who stick together against all odds.
by Yana Ugrekhelidze Germany 2021 Georgian, Russian, English 72’ Colour Documentary form

Part of the Berlinale Summer Special


Written and Directed by Yana Ugrekhelidze
Cinematography Jule Katinka Cramer
Editing Agatha Wozniak
Music Lennart Saathoff, Mikhail Khimakov (Additional Music)
Sound Design Gerald Schauder
Sound Malin Schmidt
Producer Yana Ugrekhelidze
Executive Producer Yana Ugrekhelidze

Yana Ugrekhelidze

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1984. After graduating with a degree in translation in Georgia, she took a bachelor 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, premiered in Generation. In 2019, she founded the Fortis Fem Film production company. Instructions for Survival is her debut feature-length film.

Filmography (short films)

2017 Summer Story; animation 2019 Armed Lullaby (Ein Kriegswiegenlied); animation 2021 Instructions for Survival; documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021