Read the original text at 112.ua.
The 9th Odesa International Film Festival (OIFF) will be held from 13 to 21 July, it aims to support and develop Ukrainian cinematography, as well as popularize high-quality intellectual cinema. This year 1011 films were submitted to the festival, 752 of which were for the international competition and 259 for the national one. The program director of the OIFF Antelm Vido noted that only 40 Ukrainian films were included into the competitive and out-of-competition programs.
Since 2016, competition program of the festival consists of three sections: the International Program of Full-Length Films, the Ukrainian National Competition Program, and the European Documentary Film Competition. Also, a huge interest for film enthusiasts is represented by the section of the out-of-competition program "Festival of Festivals" - the last world cinema hits. The pearl of the OIFF is the screening of open-air movie classics on the Potemkin Stairs, accompanied by a live orchestra. This year Odesa citizens and guests will be able to watch "Safety Last!" (1923) with the inimitable Harold Lloyd.
Let us try to compile a short guide on the most wanted films presented at the festival this year. In the National Program, 5 Ukrainian feature films are announced, including several world premieres, such as the film "My Hero of Time" by Tony Noyabrieva. This is the first full meter of the favorite of the festival "Youth" and the Odessa Film Festival. The first short film November "Independence Day" in 2012 won the national competition of the IFF "Youth" and received a special diploma of the jury at the Odesa Film Festival. The second short work ("Everything will be fine") became the laureate of the special award of the jury of the national "Youth" contest. "The Hero of My Time" film depicts a young man who recently moved to the capital and tried to subdue it. He works a security guard at the Museum of Modern Art, then as a water supplier to the Central Department Store, then as a market seller. The hero's life is sometimes sad, sometimes merry, and sometimes absurd picture of existence in modern Ukraine.
Another world premiere is the documentary "Gogol Doc" directed by Alisa Pavlovska. Her two previous works - "I do not want to die" and "The Fifth Therapy" - somehow were connected with the Odesa underground and its heroes. "Gogol Dock" is an attempt to study the phenomenon of "Gogolfest" and its permanent leader Vlad Troitsky. Another documentary - "Delta" by Olexandr Techinsky - is called one of the most anticipated Ukrainian films of the year. Olexandr’s full-length debut ("Everything is blazing") at famous DOK Leipzig festival was named the best East European documentary film in 2014.
"When the trees are falling" drama is the full-length debut of Maryssy Nikityuk, it was selected for the competitive program Panorama Berlinale 68 of the Berlin International Film Festival, where the world premiere took place. Ukrainian premiere of the picture will be presented at the OIFF. In 2014, the UDP company awarded the project of the film "When the trees are falling" for the best pitching at the Odesa Film Festival.
The film "Thera" directed by Nikon Romanchenko is another world premiere of the festival. It tells about a worker at a confectionery factory whose son is in a war zone and does not get in touch. The heroine decides to go in search of her son. Nikon Romanchenko got the Scythian Deer in the National Competition for the film "Faces".
The international competition this year at OIFF is very strong. One of the most anticipated films - "Styx" - very impressive and allegorical work by Wolfgang Fischer, who took second place in the "Panorama" program at Berlinale-2018. The debut film of Berry Sheltz "The Tower: A Clear Day" is the result of "unlimited imagination and great creative ambitions." Critics say that film language is very similar to Yorgos Lantimos ("The murder of the sacred deer", "Lobster", "Fang"). By the way, the author of Lantimos’s script was Efthimis Filippou, who also wrote the script for the film "Sorry" - another participant of the international program OIFF. The director of the film, Babis Makridis, is called the continuer of the Greek "strange wave." The film participated in the competitive programs of the festivals in Sundance and Rotterdam. The film "Pororoca" by Konstantin Popescu has already won a movie award. Popescu is a representative of the Romanian new wave, and his films are regularly awarded numerous awards and are shown at major film festivals around the world, including Cannes and Berlinale. The film "The Girl" (Lucas Dont) received the "Special Look" prize in Cannes, as well as the LGBT prize of the festival "Quir-palm branch", "Golden Camera" for the best debut and the prize of FIPRESCI.
The favorite section of all viewers, the out-of-competition program "Festival of Festivals", promises to be interesting. First of all, probably, this sensational "Foxtrot" by Samuel Maoz, who took the grand prix of the Venice Festival in 2017. Samuel Moez made a sensation in the circles of film enthusiasts for his low-budget film "Lebanon", for which he received the "Golden Lion" in Venice in 2009. The painting "Prayer" by Cedric Kahn won the "Silver Bear" at Berlinale-2018 for the best actor's work. Traditionally favorite by the world's film critics, Iranian film director Jafar Panahi presents his new work "Three Persons", which won a prize in Cannes for the best screenplay. He is still forbidden to make films in his own country, and he still continues to do this, transferring files for festivals through different people on a flash drive. And, of course, we should mention an outstanding documentary, registered in art cinema, Serghiy Loznytsia’s "Donbas." The film received a prize for the best director of the program "A Special Look" in Cannes-2018. As the reviewers write - a very uncomfortable movie, but a very necessary one. Loznytsia, however, has never been a master of "cinematic coziness".
Of course, there will be a huge number of film events at the film festival: the great Ingmar Bergman’s "Person" will be showed, Ukrainian retrospective "Everybody Dance" (a little-known story of Ukrainian musical comedies 1930-1970), there will be a lot of short films, documentaries. Naomi Kawase, the youngest owner of the "Golden Camera" of the Cannes Film Festival, who received it at age 28, will be a special guest of the event.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners.