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Odessa International Film Festival

Odessa International Film Festival was established in 2010 with a mission to bring high quality films from all over the world to the Ukrainian audience as well as to encourage the development of film industry in Ukraine and to restore its cinematic tradition.


The official closing ceremony of the 9th Odesa 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 cinema”.

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 will support the financial state of the city.

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 Vikrtoriya Tigipko presented her the award. Bisset expressed her gratitude: “Cinema 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) won the main prize. “It was really hard for me to create this movie, the woman in the centre 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 Lech.

In the National Competition, the jury comprised Kateryna Molchanova, Levan Koguashvili, Marianne Slot, and Martina Bleis awarded Delta, by Oleksandr Techynsky with the Golden Duke for Best Ukrainian Feature Film. The Best Director award was handed to Tonya Noyabryova, for her feature film 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.” The Golden Duke for Best Acting was given to Anastasia Pustovit, for her role in When the Trees Fall directed by Marysia Nikitiuk, the award was received by the director. Finally, in short films section, In Joy by Maryna Roshchyna was the best Ukrainian short film. Also, Bond, by Zhanna Ozirna and Mark L. Tulip, that Spoke with Flowers, by Dana Kavelina received Jury’s Special Mentions.

One day before, the FIPRESCI Jury awarded Delta, by Oleksandr Techynsky as the best Ukrainian 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 Special Jury Mention was received by Pororoca directed by Constantin Popescu (Romania, France) for “its tragic grandeur and deep impression that the story leaves”. The Best Acting Prize was awarded to Victor Polster for his performance in the Girl by Lukas Dhont, (Belgium).

Babis Makridis received the Best Director award for his sophomore film Pity (Greece, Poland) and also by jury’s unanimously vote the Best Film Award. Klaudia Smieja, the film’s co-producer, received the awards on stage.

Crystal Swan by Darya Zhuk, (Belarus, Germany, USA, Russia) is the winner of the Grand Prix award of the 9th OIFF. The award is traditionally chosen by the audience and Kreston GCG, festival’s 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.

Janina 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 his native land.”, Sokolova said. And as it happened at every screening and the Opening ceremony, there was also a special seat reserved for the Ukrainian director and 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 of 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 impressive 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 thanks to Il Decameron Clubhouse Odesa which is the official partner of the OIFF.

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