A young couple, Alexander and Mari, in Georgia struggle to live their best lives. Alexander is trans and living in secrecy due to the oppressive state of LGBTQIA+ life in their country. The hurdles keep coming: from problems finding employment, to the struggle of obtaining hormone therapy without doctors, to the difficulty in leaving the country. The couple’s hopelessness mounts until Mari decides to become a surrogate to financially support their emigration. During the pregnancy, Alexander and Mari cannot help developing feelings for the unborn baby they are carrying.
In the face of so many insurmountable challenges and so much deep pain, this story is actually of resilience, hope, and the strength one couple finds in each other. Against all odds, their love conquers all.
– Felipe Zurita, Damn These Heels programming committee member
Written and directed by Yana Ugrekhelidze, Instructions For Survival is her debut feature, which premiered at Berlinale 2021 and has gone on to play Frameline in San Francisco.