44th Molodist International Film Festival
Ukraine, October 25 - November 2 2014
Film Festival “Molodist” (meaning “Youth” in Ukrainian) is one of the greatest specialized cinema events in Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
The festival was established in 1970 as a two-day viewing platform for short films produced by students of the Kiev State Theatrical Art Institute. Since then this local initiative gained international popularity and grew into an internationally recognized festival of cinema.
In the 1980s Ukrainian audiences saw work of the first time directors from Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia and Russia.
During the time of Perestroika (“Openness”), the list of participating countries grew, and even more so after Ukraine became independent in the early 1990s, when it became a truly International Film Festival.
Molodist is the only film festival in Ukraine, ranked since 1991 by the Federation of International Film Producers Associations (FIAPF). It is the major film platform in the region, presenting the latest productions and showcasing high-profile projects of both mainstream and experimental cinema.
The main objective of the festival remains promotion of young professional cinema.
This years’ festival took place in difficult circumstances and during politically challenging times. Ukraine is plagued by a deep economic crisis, 2 days after the opening of the festival parliamentary elections took place, and in the east of the county, despite the agreed truce between Russian separatists and the Ukrainians, war continued to rage on.
Under these difficult conditions Andriy Khalpakhchi, the festivals’ director of over 20 years, together with his team, was still able to secure financial sponsors and put together an ambitious film program.
During the festival, 220 films were screened, including features, short films and documentaries. 118 films took part in official competitions, split into six categories: main competition for international feature films, student films, international short films, Ukrainian short films, Molodist for children (with children jury) and Sunny Bunny completion.
Sunny Bunny was founded in 2001 and is the world’s second, after Teddy Award at Berlinale, program of LGBT films at a major international film festival forum; in 2007 Queer Lion Award was established at the Venice Film Festival, and since 2010 Queer Palm has also been awarded in Cannes.
Outside of the official competitions, another 102 films were shown, giving Ukrainian viewers chance to acquaint themselves with many interesting works of cinema, old and new. Among them, there was a cycle dedicated to Slovakian cinema of 1960-ies, a program of new Ukrainian cinema, programs of Scandinavian, French and Russian films (which program was dedicated films of moral anxiety); as well as a cluster of 7 masterpieces of the 20th century, and a cycle of German shorts.
The festival was unfortunately disturbed by a fire at one of the cinemas, showcasing LGBT films. According to the on-going gossip, the fire was ordered by people interested in the cinema demolition and in replacing it with a large office building.
FIPRESCI jury (Natalia Moussienko – Ukraine, Janusz Gazda – Poland, Gaetano D’Elia – Italy) watched 12 features from the main competition and awarded its price to The Lesson (Urok) by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valkhanov (Bulgaria, Greece). (Janusz Gazda)
Molodist International Film Festival: www.molodist.com