Closing Gala of the 12th Odesa International Film Festival

On August 21, the closing ceremony took place on the Potemkin Stairs for the first time in the history of the Odesa International Film Festival. According to the results of the audience voting, the main prize of the Odesa International Film Festival, the Grand Prix, was awarded to Kateryna Gornostai’s film “Stop-Zemlia”.

The Closing Ceremony of the 12th OIFF was hosted by TV presenter and journalist Yanina Sokolova and TV presenter Oleh Paniuta. The closing gala opened a performance by Bedroom Music and the Odesa Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ihor Shavruk.

The Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko greeted the guests of the ceremony:

I am grateful to everyone who decided to hold the festival this year. Festival life needs sustainability, and despite all the warnings of a pandemic, the fact that the festival is taking place, that the focus this year (on the eve of the thirtieth anniversary) is Ukrainian cinema – this is great”, the Minister said.

The first to receive the awards of the 12th Odesa International Film Festival were the FIPRESCI diplomas: Taras Dron’s film “Blindfold” became the best Ukrainian feature film and Olha Zhurba’s “Dad’s Sneakers” became the best Ukrainian short film.

The jury of the National Competition Darya Zhuk, Elie Grappe, Jean-Charles Levy, Oksana Cherkashyna and Zviad Eliziani chose the best Ukrainian short film, which was Olha Zhurba’s movie “Dad’s Sneakers”. Chairman of the Subcommittee on Cinema and Advertising, Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy Pavlo Sushko said from the stage: “I would like to congratulate the winner in this nomination, because such awards really pave the way for grand cinema”.

Kateryna Gornostai’s film “Stop-Zemlia” became the winner of the Golden Duke Prize in the nomination “Best Feature Film”. The award was handed by the Head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency Maryna Kuderchuk and the Head of the Council for State Support of Cinematography Artem Koliubaiev.

It is very symbolic that the OIFF was focused on the national competition this year. We see that Ukrainian cinema is enough to be shown at such a large-scale film festival”, Maryna Kuderchuk noted.

I’m pleased that almost all the films shown at the festival were shot due to state support. We unite, make Ukrainian films, rebuild the Ukrainian national film team and win together”, Artem Koliubaiev said.

Marcus Lenz’s film “Rival” received a special diploma from the jury. The award for the best acting work was presented to the ensemble of teenage actors from the movie “Stop-Zemlia”. Nikon Romanchenko was awarded a statuette “The Best Director’s Work” for the film “Leopolis Night”. The main arbiters of the 12th Odesa International Film Festival, the audience, chose the film “Stop-Zemlia” which won the Grand Prix, Golden Duke, as the best film of the National Competition Program.

The show that was in Odesa, the audience’s reception that we felt and the love that was a powerful ray from the viewers to all participants of the process – it was incredible and unique experience”, director of “Stop-Zemlia” Kateryna Gornostai said.

The famous British director Terry Gilliam, who became a special guest of the 12th OIFF, was awarded the honorary prize “Golden Duke” for his contribution to the cinema. The award was presented to the director by Viktoria Tihipko, President of the OIFF and Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Ukrainian Film Academy.

I’m confused now, standing on the Potemkin Stairs, because ‘Battleship Potemkin’ is one of the most important films in my life. It is as meaningful to me as the fact that I’m here now. Sergei Eisenstein is one of the world’s greatest cinematographers and I am really confused to be here, where so many incredible films have been made, where I’m inspired by this cinematic air”, Gilliam remarked.

The President of the Odesa International Film Festival Viktoria Tihipko thanked the team and noted: “Eight days of the festival flew by at fierce speed. This festival was the 12th, but became the first OIFF in which the main competition program was the National Competition. We’ve demonstrated 65 films, collected the most anticipated Ukrainian and international premieres. We have left the same attributes of our festival: international programs “Festival of Festivals” and “Gala Premieres”, in which we showed the winners and participants of the Cannes, Berlin, Venice and other top film festivals around the world. More than 300 journalists visited the festival. We had a team of 200 volunteers. I want to thank our huge team! You’re just fantastic! And, of course, thanks to our audience. It is for you that we bring the best cinema to the Odesa Film Festival to create our film and cultural DNA together”.

The closing film of the 12th OIFF was Charles Chaplin’s movie “The Kid”, which turns 100 this year. The screening of the film took place right after the closing ceremony on the Potemkin Stairs, accompanied by the Odesa Symphony Orchestra.

For 12 years we’ve had a tradition of gathering on the Potemkin Stairs and watching good movies. Even last year, when the Odesa Film Festival was held online, we did not miss this tradition and watched movies here. Now we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence, and for us it was very important to show you how strong the Ukrainian film industry has become, how good Ukrainian cinema we can see now”, the OIFF Executive Director Anna Machukh said.

We would like to remind you that maximum reliability and transparency of voting was provided by the official auditor of the OIFF Kreston GCG. The general sponsor of the Closing Ceremony was the ARARAT brand.

With the support of Ukrainian State Film Agency