On July 17 the viewers were presented with two new films from the international programme: the Brazilian-Portuguese ‘Where I Grow Old’ and the Belgian-French ‘Death by Death’, the first films of the section ‘Margins of freedom: independence on both sides of the screen’ and the European documentary competition, as well as special screenings of the films by jury members Eva Neymann and Maria Razbezhkina, and the first film from the retrospective of Christian Petzold, who also gave a master class.
Actress Francisca Manuel presented the second film of the international competition – ‘Where I Grow Old’ directed by Marilia Rocha. “This film, besides the obvious themes of friendship and new acquaintances, puts light on the problem of emigration in Portugal. This is an impressionistic film about life. It is entirely dependent on the atmosphere, and not all will be able to perceive it,” said Francisca, for whom this film was an acting debut.
The screenings of contestants of the international programme was continued by a black-and-white film ‘Death by Death’ by Belgian director Xavier Seron, who presented the film together with the leading actor Jean-Jacques Rosen. “Death and disease is something that we all have to deal with. The main message of the film is to look at this topic a little differently, and remain steadfast, no matter what. As they say, laughter is the courtesy of hopelessness,” said the director during a press conference. He also said that he was inspired by such filmmakers as Bertrand Blier with his unique sense of humour and Woody Allen with his signature hypochondriac characters.
The screening of ‘Dandelion Blossom’ by Alexander Ihnatusha, filmed in 1992 at the Dovzhenko Film Studio, opened the retrospective of ‘Margins of freedom: independence on both sides of the screen’, prepared for the 25th anniversary of the Independence of Ukraine by the Odessa Film Festival in cooperation with the National Dovzhenko Centre. The film was the debut work of the director, but, unfortunately, for more than 20 years it never saw the light of day as a result of the collapse of the structure of film distribution in the 90s. At the end of the screening, the grateful audience persuaded the director to do a spontaneous Q&A, during which it was time and again made clear that the film is relevant even today.
The ‘Gala Premieres’ section showed a scandalous fashion-horror, participant of the Cannes competition this year, ‘Neon Demon’ by Nicolas Winding Refn, and the Chinese ‘Kaili Blues’ was presented in the ‘Festival of Festivals’ programme. The ‘OIFF for kids: with Children Kinofest’ opened with a Norwegian film ‘Operation Arctic’ by director Grethe Bøe-Wall.
On the third day the star guest of the festival, director Christian Petzold, one of the founders of the “Berlin school”, gave a master class at the Summer Film School. “I like to mix ‘pop’ with such topics as the Holocaust. I love to tell the story of what happens after, upon returning home. The Hollywood image of the Holocaust does not interest me,” he said about the main themes of his directorial work. The topic of Holocaust is represented in his film ‘Phoenix’, which Christian Petzold introduced as part of his retrospective. ‘House with a Turret’ was also presented by its director, member of the international jury Eva Neymann.
The section ‘Special Screenings’ continued with the film ‘Here and Now’, directed by Maria Pavlova and produced by Marina Razbezhkina, member of the jury of the International competition programme. The screening of this film was not only its world premiere, but also a birthday present for Marina Razbezhkina. “It was important to tell how difficult it is to make a decision. According to the Marina Razbezhkina school principles, a director lives close to the people and shares their life with them,” shared Maria Pavlova.
The film ‘Oleg and the Rare Arts’ about the eccentric composer Oleg Karavaichuk, who composed music for many films, in particular, for Sergey Parajanov and Kira Muratova, was presented by the Spanish-Venezuelan filmmaker Andrés Duque in the new European documentary competition. “It was very difficult to work with Oleg. It was hard to plan something, we had to improvise. I wanted to show that this is not a film about his life, it is not a biography – this film about his sensibility,” shared the director. The film is dedicated to the memory of the great artist, who died in June this year.
The new OIFF program ‘Series!’ premiered the first two episodes of a Ukrainian 16-episode detective series ‘Triple Protection’, which was presented by its crew – director Andrei Mateshko, screenwriters Andrei Kokotyukha and Anastasia Mateshko, and lead actors Artemiy Egorov and Maria Efrosinina. “It is easier to host 16 ceremonies in a row than it is to sit down and look at yourself and the result of your work,” said Maria Efrosinina, the host of the opening and closing ceremonies of OIFF-2016. The viewers will see the show on the ‘Ukraine’ TV channel in the near future.
Also today, in the garden of the ‘Aleksandrovski’ restaurant the festival opened the ART-OIFF project, the exhibitions of which will be open to visitors until July 23.
The busy day was concluded by a screening of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Franco Zeffirelli at the Stella Artois cinema on the Lanzheron Descent – the first film in the retrospective ‘Shakespeare on Film’, organized by OIFF and the British Council in honour of the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. The British Council director Simon Williams presented the film and told the audience that the programme ‘Shakespeare on Film’ makes international tours and plans to have screenings in 100 countries. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is considered a classic adaptation of the immortal play and at this moment is the last interpretation of Shakespeare that received an Oscar. The screening started with a greeting by the legendary actor Sir Ian McKellen, who long ago became a master of Shakespearean roles.