This year, 911 films from 81 countries were submitted for participation in the competitive programmes. The main prize – the Grand Prix – was fought for by 12 films participating in the International Competition, while 6 feature and 17 short films participated in the National Competition Programme, and 8 – in the European Documentary Competition. A total of 107 films, including series, were shown in the competition and non-competition programmes of the festival. The films represented 36 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, South and North America. Out of 107 films, the shortest film lasted 7 minutes, the longest – 152 minutes.
In all the competition programmes – International, National and European Documentary Competition – a total of 43 films participated, 17 of which (40%) were made by female directors.
The audience saw a record number of Ukrainian films in all 8 years of the Odesa Film Festival – 48. 3 Ukrainian films participated simultaneously in two competition programmes: “Black Level” by Valentin Vasyanovych (International and National Competition), Serhiy Bukovsky’s “The Leading Role” (European Documentary Competition and National Competition) and “Ugly” by Juri Rechinski (International and National Competition).
The audience of this OIFF was comprised of 125 thousand viewers. For the first time in the history of the Odesa Film Festival, the screening on the Potemkin Stairs was accompanied by both the symphony orchestra and a vocalist – the vocal part was performed by opera singer Sophie Fournier. Music for the film “The Ladies’ Paradise” by Julien Duvivier was written by composer Gabriel Thibaudeau. The largest open-air cinema performance in Eastern Europe has traditionally gathered 15 thousand spectators.
“The Odesa Film Festival is becoming bigger every year,” says Viktoriya Tigipko, President of OIFF. “For several years now we have been the biggest spectator film festival in Eastern Europe. We are known and beloved in the world, the best foreign filmmakers come to us, we receive a lot of applications for participation in competitive programmes. All this proves that OIFF managed to put itself firmly on the map of world cinema! We do not plan to stop there: next year we will expand our locations in Odesa, and we will further promote the film festival abroad to ensure the interest of cinephiles and film professionals from around the world.”
During the closing ceremony of the 8th OIFF, 2 Golden Duke awards were awarded for contribution to cinema – one to the Chairwoman of the Board of the European Film Academy, three-time Oscar nominee, director, screenwriter, honorary guest of the film festival Agnieszka Holland, and another – to the winner of BAFTA, Golden Globe, 2 Cezar Awards, Berlinale Silver Bear and 3 Cannes Film Festival Awards, special guest of the OIFF, actress Isabelle Huppert.
The world’s best film professionals came to the 8th Odesa International Film Festival, among which were the famous actress Lia Akhedzhakova, Silver Bear-winning director Christian Petzold, screenwriter and director Sergei Loznitsa, film composer and Goya nominee Evgueni Galperine, actress and winner of the Golden Dziga Rimma Zyubina, actor Aidan Turner, art-director of the section “Critics’ Week” at the Cannes Film Festival Charles Tesson, winner of the Lola Award Sibel Kekilli, director, screenwriter, producer Zaza Urushadze, President of the Transylvania International Film Festival Tudor Giurgiu, actress Maria Hofstatter, casting director and actor Andrzej Hira.
Film Industry Office gathered more than 700 film professionals from different countries. Over 4 days, 30 speakers spoke, 11 projects were submitted to Pitching and Work in Progress, and for the first time at OIFF, Actor’s Workshop was held for 12 Ukrainian actors and actresses. Teachers of the course were actor Ivan Shvedov, casting director Nancy Bishop, founder of the Subtitle Film Festival Richard Cook, actress Shani Klein.
Also for the first time there was a competition of series Odesa IFF ScripTeast Series Projects, within the framework of which 5 projects were presented. About 300 representatives of distribution companies and Ukrainian cinemas, as well as film studios and other companies that provide services in the field of the film industry participated in Summer Film Market of OIFF.
“OIFF is a carefully selected programme of the best films from around the world. Also, this is the main event for viewing Ukrainian films and the place where representatives of the Ukrainian film industry meet with international film professionals,” says Julia Sinkevych, general producer of the Odesa Film Festival. “Every year, the OIFF business programmes – Film Industry Office and the Summer Film Market – are expanding. In 2017, the professional section added a new direction – the pitching of series from Eastern Europe. Odesa IFF ScripTeast Series Projects is a unique project not only for Ukraine, but for Europe as a whole. In addition, we focused on the co-operation between Ukrainian and international film professionals within the framework of the “Baltic Focus” presentation, while the traditional OIFF programmes – Pitching and Work in Progress – gathered a record number of spectators and were highly evaluated by the jury. Every year, the film festival is becoming an increasingly attractive event for the film industry representatives from all over the world, and we will continue this trend for the 9th OIFF.”
As part of the business programme of the 8th OIFF, the Investors Club (iClub) was held, the main theme of which was innovation, new technologies and development. Among the speakers and participants of iClub were CASMI Director Richard Barker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TASKOMBANK Serhiy Tigipko, co-founder and CEO of Horizon Capital Olena Kosharna, founder of Textile-Contact Oleksandr Sokolovskyi and director Sergei Loznitsa. The moderators were Viktoriya Tigipko, the president of OIFF, James Peyer, the leading expert in stem cell biology, and journalist, writer and TV presenter Dmytro Gordon. The event was made possible thanks to the support of the Venture Fund TA Ventures and TASKOMBANK.
OIFF added a new location – the Stella Artois Green Theatre, where special screenings and open-air film screenings took place.
The events of the film festival were covered by 600 representatives of the press, including the leading world-renowned publications, such as The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian and Cineuropa. More than 200 volunteers helped in the organization of the film festival, among which, besides Ukrainians, were citizens of Australia, England, Portugal and Russia.
We remind you that the Grand Prix of the film festival, by the results of the audience vote, was awarded the film “King of the Belgians” (Belgium, Netherlands, Bulgaria), directed by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens. The best film according to the Jury of the International Competition Programme was “Summer 1993” by Carla Simon (Spain). The best film of the European Documentary Competition was “The Leading Role” directed by Serhiy Bukovsky. The Golden Duke statuette for the Best Feature Film of the National Competition Programme was awarded to “Dixie Land” by Roman Bondarchuk, and the Best Short Film of the 8th OIFF was “Graduation' 97” by Pavlo Ostrikov. The prize in the amount of 60,000 hryvnias from the sponsor of OIFF, the investment and development company UDP, was awarded to the projects “The Floor Is Lava” (Kateryna Gornostai) and “My Thoughts Are Quiet” (Antonio Lukic). The winner of Work in Progress, “Volcano” (Roman Bondarchuk), was awarded with a prize: a certificate for plane tickets for the value of 2000 euros from the number 1 airline in Ukraine, Ukrainian International Airlines – the official carrier of OIFF. Honesty and reliability of the announced voting results was confirmed by the audit and consulting company Kreston GCG, which is the official auditor of the Odesa International Film Festival.
The 8th OIFF was supported by the general partner TASKOMBANK, the official sponsor of the festival Stella Artois, the general television partner TV channel “Ukraine”, the official sponsor ARARAT, the official autopartner Renault, the official partner Il Decameron Clubhouse Odessa, the partner of OIFF for Kids programme together with Children Kinofest – the children’s brand Malyatko, the official partner of the opening and closing ceremonies Figaro-Catering, the official partner Nikitina Magic Shock, the clean partner Karcher, the beauty partner Mary Kay, the partner Panorama, the reliable Internet partner TENET, the partner Sport Life.
The 9th Odesa International Film Festival will be held from 13 to 21 of July 2018.