OIFF 2019, day 2: spectacular premieres, competition screenings, workshops, and the gala open-air cinematic performance at the Potemkin Stairs

Day 2 of the 10th Odesa International Film Festival: opening of the International Competition program, spectacular premieres, artistic meeting with Rose McGowan and the screening at the Potemkin Stairs

The International Competition program opened with “Queen of Hearts” by May el-Toukhy. Gustav Lind, the main actor, presented the film. “For my roles, I always take a part of my own experience; I put a part of myself into them. I take the text that I work with, and I let it run through me”, the actor said. The second film from the International Competition Program is “Monos”, a dramatic story by Alejandro Landes. The film was presented by its producer, Santiago Zapata: “First and foremost, we wanted to make a universal film. The 50-years-long civil war has just ended in Colombia, and we wanted to show how the main characters, who were born during this war, return to the society, and what happens to them afterwards”._

The Cannes and Berlinale have met today at the “Gala Premieres” section. “Dead Don’t Die” by American independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, which opened this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and “The Golden Glove” by German director Fatih Akin, which took part in the main competiton of Berlinale 2019, gathered full houses at the Festival Palace and the “Rodina” Festival Center.

The program “Festival of Festivals” featured 2 films - “Kingdom” by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, which took part in the main competition of the International Film Festival in San Sebastian in 2018, and “Between Two Waters” by Spanish director Isaki Lacuesta, which received the Golden Shell for the Best Film at the International Film Festival in San Sebastian-2018.

Premiere of the film “Summer Hockey” by Rozalie Kogutova and Tomash Boyar took place as part of the OIFF European Documentary Films’ Competition.

“We've chosen very different main characters. These characters illustrate how people from various cultures can find a common language”, Tomash Boyar noted.

Presentation of the film “Numbers” also took place today, on the birthday of the Ukrainian filmmaker and Kremlin political prisoner Oleh Sentsov.

At the press-conference, co-director of the film Ahtem Seitablayev, producer Anna Palenchuk, casting director Anastasiya Chorna, and the OIFF general producer Yuliya Sinkevych presented the trailer and told about the creation of the film.

“Having read the play, I really liked it. I thought that I know what it is about and what to emphasize in it. This play reminded me about the genre of drama that I admired during my studies at the theatre college – so-called “theatre of paradox”, reminisced Ahtem Seitablayev.

We are reminding that in August 2015, Oleh Sentsov was illegally convicted to 20 years of imprisonment at the maximum-security correctional facility.

On the 2nd day of the OIFF, the “Series!” section was also presented.

“Interest towards series goes beyond television and acquires new, higher and more artistic forms. “Ukraina” TV channel is a powerful producer of domestic series content that occupies most of its air time. This year, we are producing around 1000 hours of series of various forms and genres”, said Natalya Strybuk, chief producer of the series production department of “Ukraina” TV channel. Besides, there was a screening of the trailer for a new Ukrainian-Lithuanian series “Markus”.

“The Moon for my Father” was presented personally by its director Mania Akbari, a member of the National Competition jury: “I had no specific ideas; the idea of this film’s creation appeared from the process itself. The camera is an important part of my life”.

Our special guest, American actress, director, and activist Rose McGowan, presented her own short film “Dawn” and told about her artistic way and life views. “For me, directing is something I've always wanted to do. At a certain moment, I felt that I have something to say”, recalled the American actress.

British theatre and film director Mike Leigh personally presented his film “Peterloo” at its premiere. “In August, it will be 200 years since the day of the Manchester Massacre, which is shown in the film. Since 2014, we’ve been researching for the film, and we understood that this is very important for us nowadays, because it concerns democracy”, the director said.

Meeting with Karel Och, director of the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary and a jury member of the OIFF International Competition Program, took place at the workshop. “We are one of the festivals that do not identify criteria for film selection. When you identify something clearly, you limit not only the films, but also yourself. In a year, your opinion and the films might go beyond this definition”,Karel Och told.

The “OIFF for Children program opened on July 13 with fairy tale “Hidir Dede”. The film was presented by its director Dlyaver Dvadzhyev. “In this piece, we wanted to show the children the primeval beauty of Crimea”, the director mentioned. On the same day, there was the opening of the OIFF art program “Culture News”, which is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Odesa International Film Festival.

Screenings of the second day of the OIFF concluded with the traditional open-air performance at the Potemkin stairs: this year, it featured American film “Cossacks” (1928, directed by George W. Hill and Clarence Brown), produced by the famous Metro Goldwin Meyer studio (MGM). The studio is familiar to the fans of high-quality cinema for its large scale projects “2001: Space Odissey” (directed by Stanley Kubrick), “Ben-Hur” (directed by William Wyler), “The Wizard of Oz” (directed by Victor Fleming), and others.

The second day of the 10th anniversary Odesa International Film Festival concluded with hot parties: at the official wine bar LOU LOU, the guests enjoyed the performance of Dubdelight, and at the official cocktail bar ZELDA BAR – music by Artem Cherednik.