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The official closing ceremony of the 9th Odessa International Festival

On July 21st, Odesa Opera and Ballet theatre hosted the official closing ceremony of the 9th OIFF. “Crystal Swan” by Darya Zhuk won the Grand-Prix of the festival and "Pity" by Babis Makridis the Best Film Award.

The ceremony was hosted by Yanina Sokolova and Oleg Panyuta. Apache Crew ballet opened the ceremony, followed by remarks of Yevhen Nishchuk, the Minister of Culture of Ukraine: “We had a chance to enjoy this great cinematographic event, which proves our presence in European and world film scene. We reflect, we develop and we show our own dynamic of Ukrainian cinematography”.

Viktoriya Tigipko, the president of the OIFF and the head of the supervisory board of the Ukrainian Film Academy noted: “It’s a pleasure for us to see the guests of the festival coming back to Ukraine to shoot movies later. To Odesa in particular. Like Dariusz Jablonski, who’s coming here in autumn to start shooting his new movie. He will have thirty shooting days here in Odesa, and it will bring one million euros to the city budget and to the economic state of Odesa".

Jacqueline Bisset, British actress and the special guest of the 9th OIFF received the Golden Duke award for her contribution into the art of film. OIFF president Viktoriya Tigipko presented her the award. Jacqueline expressed her gratitude: “Cinematography has changed dramatically since I started my career. Yet, the most important thing is that it hasn’t lost its honesty and realness”.

The European documentary competition was the first to announce its winners: “Home Games”, by Alisa Kovalenko, (Ukraine, France, Poland). “It was really hard for me to create this movie, the woman in the center of the plot has gone through a lot of drama, and I was going through it with her. I am grateful to her for opening to me”, – said the director. “69 minutes of 86 days”, by Egil Haskjold Larsen, Norway has received the Special Mention award from the members of jury: Galia Bador, Ostap Kostyuk and Dorotha Leh.

National competition jury, Kate Molchanova, Levan Koguashvili, Marianne Slot, Martina Bleis have chosen “In Joy” by Maryna Roshchyna as the best Ukrainian short film. “Delta”, dir. Oleksandr Techynsky was awarded with Golden Duke for Best Ukrainian Feature Film. The Golden Duke for Best acting was presented to Anastasia Pustovit, When the Trees Fall, directed Marysia Nikitiuk. The award was received by the director. Best Director in the category of Ukrainian feature was presented to a film by Tonya Noyabryova, Hero of My Time. The director noted: “For all of us, filmmakers, it is very important to make our work honest, it is important to shoot every move like it’s your last one. You reveal your unique voice, and then the whole world can hear it.”

Special Mention was presented to “Bond”, by Zhanna Ozirna and "Mark L. Tulip, that Spoke with Flowers", by Dana Kavelina.

One day before, FIPRESCI awarded “Delta” by Oleksandr Techynskyi as the best Ukrainian full feature film, and “Magnetic Storm” by Ihor Hanskiy as the best Ukrainian short film.

The films of the International Competition program were evaluated by Ewa Puszczynska, Ritesh Batra, Igor Minaiev, Arnaud des Pallières and Ia Shugliashvili. The “Pororoca” directed by Constantin Popescu (Romania,France) got Special Jury Mention prize for "its tragic grandeur and deep impression that the story leaves".

The Best Acting prize was awarded to Victor Polster for the “Girl”, Belgium. Babis Makridis got The Best Director award for “Pity” (Greece, Poland). The jury unanimously chose the same “Pity” by Makridis as the Best Film. Klaudia Smieja, the film’s producer, received the awards on stage.

The “Crystal Swan” by Darya Zhuk (Belarus, Germany, USA and Russian co-production) has become the winner of the Grand Prix award at the 9th OIFF. This category was traditionally chosen by the viewers. Kreston GCG, an official auditing partner, ensured maximum reliability and transparency of the voting. “I have been trying so long and so hard to get this award. It’s my first ever prize. And it’s not only my victory, it is a great gift for our team and a little breakthrough for our country which is very close”, - Darya Zhuk said.

Yanina Sokolova and Oleh Paniuta reminded everyone that the hunger strike of Oleg Sentsov has been lasting for 69 days already as for 21st of July. ”The OIFF and all of us wish him to stay strong and to come back to his artistic occupation to the native land”, - Yanina Sokolova said. And as well as at every screening and the Opening ceremony there was a special seat reserved for Ukrainian director/political prisoner at the Closing Ceremony.

At the end of the official part the stage was shaken by Apache Crew but this time they performed with the singer Alina Pash.

“The Trouble with You” by Pierre Salvadori was a Closing film at the 9th OIFF. The film was awarded the Directors’ Fortnight SACD prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. This year the screening took place at the Festival Palace. The official ceremony was followed by the closing party in pop-art style at the Literary Yard provided by the Figaro, OIFF official catering partner. ARARAT, the festival’s official alcohol partner, treated the guests with a legendary Armenian brandy.

The OIFF official designer Ivan Frolov created the look for Viktoriya Tigipko, the OIFF President. Oh My Look, the official Red Carpet partner, made the charming guests look even more tremendous at the ceremony with the beautiful evening gowns. Renault official partner was driving the gusts to the Red Carpet. ARARAT and Elissa - BAR & RESTAURANT treated the guests of the Closing Ceremony at Palais-Royal where Samsung innovative partner presented its brand zone.

The after party took place at Caleton festival club brightened by the performance of The Penelopes, British pop-art duo. The duo has been the official Cannes festival DJs for quite a long time and managed to surprise Ukrainian party-lovers with an exclusive DJ set.

The staying of the guests was extremely comfortable due to Il Decameron Clubhouse Odessa which is the official partner of the OIFF.

TASCOMBANK is the official partner of the OIFF.

The 10th Odesa International Film Festival will take place from 12 to 20 July next year!