OIFF-2021 – Day 6: “Stop-Zemlia”, “The Year of the Everlasting Storm”, and Pitching at the Film Industry Office

On August 19, within the non-competition programs of the 12th Odesa International Film Festival the audience watched Joachim Trier’s film “The Worst Person in the World” (“Festival of Festivals”), Dash Shaw’s “Cryptozoo” (“Festival of Festivals”), the anthology film “The Year of the Everlasting Storm” (“Special Screenings”) and “Why I’m Alive” by Villen Novak (“Ukrainian Gala Premieres”).

A sold-out and long applause accompanied the screening of “Stop-Zemlia” directed by Kateryna Gornostai. This movie received the Crystal Bear of the Generation 14plus Competition at Berlin IFF (2021). The entire film crew and the actors came to the Odesa Film Festival to present the film. “When we started preparing for the shooting and decided that we wanted to show a school where the teacher, almost a university teacher, respects his students and is friendly with them… This is absolutely a feature film with much truth”, the director said.

“In the course of preparation for the filming, we got an acting laboratory, which took two months (12 hours of preparation per week)... but we didn’t see the script and didn’t know what this film will be about”, actress Maria Fedorchenko added.

“The Worst Person in the World” by Danish director Joachim Trier launched the “Festival of Festivals” section today. The film tells about 30-year-old Julie’s life full of challenges and questions. Actress Renate Reinsve received the Best Actress Award (Cannes Festival, 2021). The section continued Dash Shaw’s animated fantasy “Cryptozoo” which received Innovator Award at Sundance Film Festival and Special Mention at the Generation 14plus International Jury at Berlin IFF this year.

The national premiere of Villen Novak’s film “Why I’m Alive” was held. This is a story about the love between a Ukrainian woman and a Jewish man at the beginning of World War II, starring Viktor Zhdanov. “I am grateful to the actors I’ve chosen. I’m grateful to all filmmakers who responded”, the director thanked.

The American anthology film “The Year of the Everlasting Storm” was demonstrated at the “Special Screenings” section. This movie, shot in the United States, Iran, Chile, China, and Thailand by the seven most important directors of the present, is their love letter to cinema.

Within the retrospective program, the audience watched Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Three Colors: Blue”, the first part of his trilogy which tells the story of Julie who tries to make a new start after the death of her husband and child. Terry Gilliam’s dystopian story “Twelve Monkeys” gathered spectators at the Rodina Festival Center.

The program of the Ukrainian retrospective “Independent” presented the drama “The Tribe” by Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi. Interestingly, the film became the first movie in the world to be shot without a single word, using only Ukrainian sign language. The film was presented at more than 100 film festivals around the world where it received more than 40 awards, including the prize of European Film Academy and three awards at the Cannes Film Festival.

Within the Summer Film School, a master class on the creation of a film in international co-production was held. Srđan Dragojević, the director of “Heavens Above”, and producer Biljana Prvanović took part in this event.

“Foundations often grant money on specific themes that are topical during certain years, but I have never done so. I always select a topic that really interests me. But many directors use themes that are supported by the foundations”, Srđan Dragojević said. “You never know whether it will be a festival film or a movie that will be watched and watched twice or more. We also did not know that some films would be in the bunker for 2 years due to the pandemic of coronavirus”, producer Biljana Prvanović remarked. Ukrainian production designer Vlad Odudenko also held his master class.

“For example, here is a scene in the film “The Tribe” in which the hero from the yard enters the building, goes upstairs to the fourth floor, if anyone saw, this lasts nearly 7-8 minutes, where he went up to the room and killed four of his acquaintances teenagers beating their heads with bedside tables… But few people believed that everything was very simple, the bedside tables were dummy, but Serhii Stepanskyi made such a sound that there was an illusion that they were heavy; you see, this is teamwork!” Vlad Odudenko shared his experience.

Within the professional section of the Film Industry Office, pitching of 12 Ukrainian film projects, which are being developed, took place. The winners of the competition will be announced on August 20.

  • With the support of Ukrainian State Film Agency