The XVIII Pokrov International Orthodox Film Festival has started and is being held online. The opening ceremony is broadcasted from studios in Kyiv and Moscow. One can watch it on Spas TV channel and on the Internet. The theme of the festival is “Do not be afraid, just believe.” 68 films from seven countries: Ukraine, Russia, Israel, France, Belarus, Armenia and Serbia take part in the main contest of the festival.
The opening film of the festival will be a documentary film directed by the monk Illarion (Moiseyev) “Hello, brother, Christ is Risen!” which is about faith, friendship, patriotism of Ukrainian boxers Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk.
President of the Pokrov Festival MP Andriy Derkach in his welcoming speech stressed that, despite the difficulties caused by coronavirus, life and art goes on.
“I never get tired of saying words of gratitude to everyone who makes Orthodox cinema. Often these are films-experiences that make you look at life in a new way, to re-evaluate your actions and thoughts. Everything in life begins with faith and the power of thought. If each of us takes care of others, then we will move away from the path of suffering to the path of light, get us rid of the coronavirus and other problems. If we think about unification, everything in the world will work out by itself. We only need to correct our thoughts,” Derkach said.
The head of the project, Archbishop Jonah of Obukhov, commented on the theme of the festival: “The words “Do not be afraid” are often found in the Gospel. It is one of the most common phrases of Christ in the Gospel – “Do not be afraid!” Now, when there are a lot of reasons for fears, for worries, we, people who believe in Christ must understand: Do not be afraid, Christ is with you, Christ leads you, accept from Him all that He gives you on your way,” Jonah said.
Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk addressed the audience with a welcoming word: “May the films that we will watch help us deepen our perception of the Orthodox faith and the world around us. May they help us become kinder, become closer to Christ, and learn how to fulfill His commandments,” Hilarion said.
The Father Superior of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel emphasized the need for unity: “We are inseparable and we have nothing to share. We have one history, one protection of the Mother of God, we all must have one thing. We must not divide God, we must not divide history, and we must see a brother in each other, the image of Christ,” Pavel said.
Director Nikolai Dostal, winner of the Grand Prix of 2016 Pokrov Festival, noted that faith should unite: “They say rightfully that faith should unite, Orthodoxy, so we should show an example to warring elements that we need to communicate, make friends, find contact,” Dostal noted.
Pokrov International Orthodox Film Festival has been held since 2003 (it was held with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Vladimir). Today the festival is held under the blessing of the Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Onufriy. The film festival is held annually with the aim of popularizing films with Christian content. President of the Film Festival is MP of Ukraine Andriy Derkach. This year, Pokrov Festival is being held online for the first time.