4th Odessa International Film Festival
Ukraine, July 12 - July 20 2013
The fourth edition of this young and rapidly developing festival took place from 12 to 20 July. Within the space of only four years, festival president Victoria Tigipko, festival director Denis Ivanov and experienced program director Alik Shpilyuk have created an international meeting point for professionals combined with a public film fiesta with a friendly atmosphere. The festival attracts professionals largely from Ukraine and the surrounding region, but there were also programmers from major festivals as well as international producers and distributors present. This year there were more than 5000 accredited visitors, and in total the festival attracted more than 100,000 audience members.
The program of 90 films consisted of an international competition, an international panorama known as the “festival of festivals”, a Russian film week with seven films, and tributes to the directors Sergej Paradjanov and Michael Winterbottom. However, the focus of the festival remains on the budding Ukrainian film industry, which has seen very few productions in the last decade. There were a section of gala premieres of new Ukrainian films, a selection of twelve shorts and novella films, and a Ukrainian national competition. These were supplemented by a couple of ambitious seminars, a film schools event, a special course for young Ukrainian film critics, and work-in-progress screenings, as well as a pitching event for Ukrainian productions and co-productions. All of these events were designed to address the need to improve the Ukrainian film industry.
The festival’s connection to film history was referenced through a very special outdoor screening on the cinematic Potemkin stairs during the first weekend of the festival. This year, Friedrich Murnau’s Sunrise (1927) enchanted more than 10,000 spectators on a warm and breezy evening, with the Black Sea as background while a full symphony orchestra played below the big screen. (Gunnar Bergdahl)
Odessa International Film Festival: www.oiff.com.ua