13 Tzameti

Director: Gela Babluani
Screenwriters: Gela Babluani

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


A most unlikely protagonist, Sébastien is 20 years old with nothing going on in his life except a willingness to follow the rules. But when a serendipitous chain of events hands him a train ticket and set of instructions, clearly intended for someone else, he uncharacteristically decides to accept the challenge. What begins as a lark soon delivers him like an innocent lamb to the slaughter. Sébastien finds himself at the very brink of human decency, a place whose only inhabitants are the underbelly of society. Yet there is no turning back for our young hero; he must forge on with only two tools for survival: his luck and his wits. Ironically, his number may be up, and in this case, it's 13.

Director Géla Babluani's hand is firmly at the throttle of this neo-noir thriller that may instantly rise to the rank of cult classic. Borrowing from cinematic traditions (Hitchcock is the first), 13 Tzameti perfectly combines story and style to produce an explosive effect. It is superbly crafted with finely honed acting and writing, and the elegant black-and-white cinematography creates just the right atmosphere. This film's budget may be small, but its payoff is large. 13 Tzameti is a satisfying adventure, building slowly, drawing us in, and ending with a white-knuckle ride into the surreal.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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