The 12th Odesa International Film Festival, held from 14 to 21 August takes stock
The 12th Odesa International Film Festival was confined to the 30th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine with an emphasis on the national cinema. The only competitive program of the festival was the National Competition (full-length film and short-length film), the winners of which received awards for the best film, best director, best actor's work, and the main prize of the OIFF — Grand Prix.
In total, more than 250 films were presented for participation in the National Program of the 12th OIFF, of which more than 60 were full-length films. 6 full-length films and 8 short-length films competed for the victory in the competition. In total, 65 films were shown in the competition and out-of-competition programs of the festival. And the total audience of the OIFF was 100,000 viewers.
This year the award ceremony took place on the Potemkin Stairs for the first time in the history of Odesa International Film Festival. And then there was a traditional open-air performance — a screening of the closing film of the 12th OIFF, The Kid by Charlie Chaplin. The showing of the film, which turns 100 this year, was accompanied by Odesa Symphony Orchestra.
"For 12 years we have had a tradition of gathering live on the Potemkin Stairs and watching a good movie. Even last year, when Odesa Film Festival was held online, we did not miss this tradition and watched a movie here. Now we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Independence of Ukraine, and it was very important for us to show you how strong the Ukrainian film industry has become. What a high-quality Ukrainian cinema we can watch now", said Anna Machukh, OIFF Executive Director.
As part of the 12th OIFF in the Special Screenings section, the audience was shown Srdjan Dragojevic's film Heavens Above, a collection of short films from Iran, Chile, China, Thailand, and the United States about life during the Covid-19 pandemic The Year of the Everlasting Storm, French Exit, a film by Azazel Jacobs, as well as Yuri Ilyenko's film A Prayer for Hetman Mazepa, which was confined to the anniversary of the birth of Bohdan Stupka.
A retrospective of the best Ukrainian films made during the 30 years of independence was presented during the OIFF. The following full-length films were presented in the Independent program, created jointly with Dovzhenko Center: A Friend of the Deceased by Viacheslav Kryshtofovych, The Tribe by Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi, The Earth Is Blue as an Orange by Iryna Tsilyk, My Joy by Sergei Loznitsa, Scarcity of Oxygen by Andrii Donchyk, Shamara by Nataliia Andriichenko, Atlantis by Valentyn Vasyanovych. A selection of short films, which included seven short films was shown within the Independent program retrospective as well.
Also, during the 12th OIFF, the audience of the festival watched five films by the famous Polish director, Oscar nominee, and winner of 70 awards Krzysztof Kieślowski, who would have turned 80 this year.
The special guests of the 12th OIFF were two-time nominees for Golden Globe and BAFTA award Daniel Brühl and film Producer Malte Grunert. Together they presented their new joint film Next Door and opened a summer film school with their master class. In addition, the guest of the festival was the famous British director Terry Gilliam, whose retrospective of films was shown as part of the program "In Honor of Terry Gilliam." At the closing ceremony, the director was awarded the honorary Golden Duke Award for his contribution to cinematographic art. Another honorary award was given to the director of animated films and teacher of several generations of Ukrainian animators Yevhen Syvokin.
"This festival was the 12th but became the first OIFF in which the main competition program this year was the National Competition. We showed 65 films, collected the most anticipated Ukrainian and international premieres. We have left the same attributes of our festival — the international programs Festival of Festivals and Gala Premiere, 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 awesome! And, of course, thanks our viewers. It is for you that we bring the best film to Odesa Film Festival to form our film and cultural DNA together", said Viktoriia Tihipko, President of Odesa International Film Festival.
During the 12th OIFF, screenings of the traditional programs Festival of Festivals and Gala Premieres took place, in which contestants and laureates of international film festivals of class “A” were presented. In particular, OIFF viewers were the first in Ukraine to watch the film Titan, which is the owner of Palme d'Or, the musical Annette with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, Paul Verhoeven's new work Benedetta, the fantasy The Green Knight, A Hero by Asghar Farhadi, Memoria with Tilda Swinton and many others.
In parallel with the screenings of films of the festival programs, the traditional professional section of the Film Industry Office took place. During it, the Pitching of Ukrainian film projects at the "Pre-production" stage took place, and the presentation of Ukrainian film projects at the final stage of filming or in post-production Work-in-Progress.
The winner of the Pitching was the project of Vera film, directed by Maryna Stepanska. It received an award of 60 thousand UAH from the TV channel Ukraine, which was the general media partner. Elizabeth Smith's film Vacuum received UAH 30 thousand from izibank, the official partner. The third place and UAH 25,000 from the media partner oll.tv went to Demons by Natalka Vorozhbyt, and the Special Jury Award was awarded to the project of the film House, directed by Or Sinai. In the Work-in-Progress program, the winner was Terricones by Taras Tomenko, which received UAH 60 thousand from the TV channel Ukraine. The second place was taken The Saviour by Maksym Nakonechnyi, an award of UAH 25 thousand from oll.tv, and the third place and a special award were taken by the film Ambulance on the Periphery (Between the Sky and the Mountains) by Dmytro Hreshko.
The events of the film festival were covered by about 300 representatives of the Ukrainian press. 200 volunteers helped to organize the film festival.
Stop-Earth by Kateryna Hornostai became the winner of the main award of the 12th OIFF — the Grand Prix, which is awarded at the end of the audience voting. The jury of the National Competition Daria Zhuk, Elie Grappe, Jean-Charles Levy, Oksana Cherkashyna and Zviad Eliziani chose Daddy's Sneakers by Olga Zhurba as the best Ukrainian short film. Stop-Earth by Kateryna Hornostai became the winner of Duke in the nomination Best Full-Length Film. The award for the best acting work was presented to the teenage actors’ team from Stop-Earth film. Nikon Romanchenko was awarded a statuette for Best Director's Work for the film Leopolis Night.
The jury received a special diploma from the film Rival, directed by Marcus Lenz. FIPRESCI diplomas were awarded to the full-length film Blindfolded (directed by Taras Dron), the short-length film Daddy's Sneakers (directed by Olga Zhurba).
In addition, the 12th OIFF hosted a three-day Summer Film Market for representatives of distribution companies and cinemas operating in Ukraine, as well as film studios and other companies providing services in the film industry. And for future professionals during the eight days of the festival there was a Summer Film School, which included a total of 13 workshops, panel discussions and creative meetings with famous filmmakers, actors, directors, and other movie stars.
Recall that Kreston GCG, the official auditor of the OIFF, ensured the maximum reliability and transparency of voting during the festival days.
The 12th OIFF was supported by the Ukrainian State Film Agency, the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, the Executive Committee of Odesa City Council, Odesa Regional State Administration, the general partner TASKOMBANK JSC, the official ARARAT alcohol sponsor, Audi car partner, Xiaomi partner, general media partner — TV channel Ukraine, Uklon partner, official partner — Star Media film company, official izibank partner, Symbol fashion partner, red carpet beauty partner — Fusion, the family of beauty salons, NRJ, main radio partner, Karcher, the cleaning partner.
The 13th Odesa International Film Festival will take place in the summer 2022!