The second day of the Film Industry Office section opened with a panel discussion “Cinema and Independent Film Festivals: Sources of Benefits for Public Discourse”. The event was supported by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, in cooperation with the Cottbus Film Festival. The board was moderated by Bernd Buder, the program director of Cottbus.
The following people took part in the discussion: Samaya Asgarova, Head of the Department of International Affairs, film studio “Azerbaijanfilm”; Virgiliu Mărgineanu, Director of OWH Studio, president of FIFD CRONOGRAF; Ana Chkoniya, the Program Coordinator of the Tbilisi International Film Festival; Igor Sukmanov, the Program Director of the Minsk International Film Festival “Listapad”; as well as Julia Synkevich, the General Producer of OIFF.
At the beginning of the discussion, the representatives of film festivals told everyone their story and invited filmmakers to apply for film competitions. Virgiliu Mărgineanu complained that Chisinau is closer to Odesa than other festival cities, but OIFF and CRONOGRAF have never cooperated so far, and expressed the hope that that might change soon. Ana Chkoniya talked about how many films are being made in Georgia and how the industry is developing rapidly. Igor Sukmanov drew the audience’s attention to the fact that film festivals provide an opportunity to better understand the public discourse in countries whose films are represented in the programmes: “We know very well what goes on in Hollywood, but we do not have enough information about the countries with which we have a common past. I noticed that the films from the post-Soviet countries that are shown at European festivals such as Cannes make an impression, but when the same film has a screening in Minsk, where all the problems in the film are understood by the audience, it becomes a completely different experience.”
The General Producer of OIFF, Julia Synkevich, noted that only in recent years the industry has allowed the festival to form a full-fledged competition programme of Ukrainian films. Igor Sukmanov emphasized that film festivals provide an opportunity to better understand public discourse in countries whose films are represented in the programmes.
In the tent of the Industry Office there was a presentation “International practices to improve efficiency in the film business and other creative areas with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development”. The moderator of the event: Iryna Soloviy, a strategist for social development, president of the NGO “Garage Gang”, co-founder of the social innovation platform “Big Idea”. She stressed that the EBRD has traditionally been perceived as a structure that cooperates with government programmes, and that it is important to convey to small business owners (who employ up to 250 people) that they too can count on the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The speakers were: Frank Hannigan, Coordinator of Creative Industries Group; the International Advisory Group of EBRD; and Olga Ivanchenko, Lead Manager, Small Business Consulting, Ukraine. The speakers told about the directions of consulting provided by the EBRD to the representatives of small businesses, the criteria for participation in the EBRD grant program, and how to obtain financing.
The Odesa Film Festival opened a new section. For the first time within the framework of the Film Industry Office a competition of series projects was held, supported by ScripTeast and Star Media. The jury of the series pitching included: Thomas Coan, Senior Vice-President of the Scripted Programming Department, NBC Universal, Great Britain; Frédéric Lavigne, art director of the Series Mania Festival, France; Louise Gigon, Head of Television Development, Haut et Court, France; Brigitte Mantey, Adviser on Film Financing, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, Germany; Vlad Ryashin, General Producer, Star Media, Ukraine.
The contest included: “Cursed Mountains” (Croatia, showrunners Dorotea Vucic, Višna Mamić), “Fata Morgana” (Hungary, USA, showrunner Gabor Garmi), “New Gypsies” (Great Britain, Germany, Bulgaria, written by Theodore Markov, Georgi Ivanov), “Red Mafia” (Ukraine, written by Oleksiy Mamedov, Serhiy Korotun), “Tartarus” (Poland, showrunner Wiktor Pjatkowski)
After the presentation of the projects, a panel discussion “Trends and the Future of Drama Series” was held for the jury and the audience. Participating in the discussion were members of the jury of series pitching, moderated by Dariusz Jablonski, President of the Independent Film Foundation / Odesa IFF ScripTeast Series Projects. In particular, the participants identified, on the one hand, the trend towards the globalization of the industry, and on the other – an interest in local stories that could be understood in different countries.
The second day of the section ended with the presentation of the Ukrainian Film Academy. The Executive Director of the Ukrainian Film Academy Anna Machukh noted that the academy added two new nominations – “Best Makeup Artist” and “Best Costume Designer”. The Academy has also established an Audience Award, the winner of which will be determined by online voting.