Second edition of Odessa IFF builds bridges to Europe

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ODESSA: The Grand Prix of the Odessa International Film Festival (15-23 July 2011) was awarded to the French film Tomboy directed by Celine Sciamma. The OIFF’s main prize, the Golden Duke along with a cash award of 15 000 USD was handed over by Polish actor and jury president Jerzy Stuhr and accepted on behalf of the director by French actress Sophie Cattani who plays in the film. The jury selected the winner from among 14 films from Hong Kong and Uruguay, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe competing in the international competition.

The gala closing ceremony was held at the recently restored Odessa Opera House which lived up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe. Odessa glitterati turned out in stunning style with an audience of Odessa beauties arrayed in designer gowns and the heads of companies sponsoring the event taking the stage to present prizes including the head of Shustov the festival’s main sponsor. VIP guests included the Ukrainian Minister of Culture Vasyl Vovkin who came on stage to sing a duet as well as congratulate the festival organizers.

Launched only last year OIFF has grown significantly in its second edition and the festival president Victoria Tigipko is credited with successfully involving the local business community in the event. This year’s edition added a Film Market and Pitching Event as well as additional prizes and activities. Celebrity guests included John Malkovich and Nikita Mikhalkov while the screening of Metropolis on the steps where Sergei Eisenstein shot the famous scene from Battleship Potempkin was a highlight of the festival. Mikhalkov’s Slave of Love which was shot in Odessa also got an outdoor screening. In total about 100 films were screened for over 70 000 spectators. In its second year OIFF seems to be firmly established on the European festival calendar.

The first edition of the Film Market, a three day event, attracted one hundred and fifty representatives of the theater, cinema networks movie distributors from Ukraine and other companies working in the film industry. Another new industry event the Pitching Forum, attracted 34 entries Ukrainian producers from which 10 were selected to be presented to a jury of international film experts. Both the market and the pitching forum are expected to become annual events.

One of the key features of the festival is the Ukrainian Film Laboratory section where new talent from Ukrainian filmmakers is showcased. Another event meant to develop young talent is the Summer Film School where students attended nine days of master classes taught by John Malkovich, Jerzy Stuhr, Nana Djordjadze and others.

{mosimage}Awards of OIFF 2011

Best Film: Tomboy directed by Celine Sciamma (France)

Cash Award 15 000 USD

Best Director Olias Barco for his film Kill Me Please (Belgium)

Cash Award 10 000 USD

Audience Award: Almanya: Welcome to Germany directed by Yasmine Samdereli (Germany) Cash award 5 000 USD

National Union of Ukrainian Cinematographers Critics Award: Kill Me Please

Pitching Award for Best New Project: Company UDP for director and producer Vera Yakovenko’s project Outsider

Cash Prize 25 000 hryvnia

Nikolai Shustov Award for Best Ukrainian film: Short Film Dog Waltz directed by Taras Tkachenko


Sponsored by Odessa International Film Festival: www.oiff.com.ua