9-day film marathon swept over Odessa with its main results summed up on 23 July, when the winners were announced during the Closing Ceremony with a special appearance of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt.
The popularity of the Odessa International Film Festival has been undoubtedly increasing with its every edition. This year, the OIFF team got 864 applications all over the world, including participants and winners of film festivals in Berlin, Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary and of the Sundance festival. Despite of tempting hot sandy beaches and warm water of the Black Sea, huge queues of film connoisseurs gathered far in advance of most of the screenings, leaving some room for frustration of those owning festival passes, who couldn’t get inside the screening venues due to no seats available.
The Closing Ceremony took place in the beautiful Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater, where the audience gathered in anticipation of the winners.
In his welcome speech, the Minister of Culture Yevhen Nyshchuk emphasized the important role the cinema plays in every society. ‘The cinema empowers dreams’, Mr. Nyshchuk said. ‘It cured the United States and many other countries of depression, it will cure our country of depression as well and will plant a dream that will give us hope to create, to love and to win.’
Academy Award Winner and Head of the OIFF Jury 2016 Christopher Hampton was awarded with the Golden Duke for Lifetime Achievement.
Touching and witty British comedy drama Burn, Burn, Burn became audience favourite and won Grand Prix Golden Duke.
The Jury preferred co-production of Romania, France and Poland – Illegitimate – naming it the Best Picture.
Xavier Seron became the best director for Death by Death,while Rosalie Thomass and Kaori Momoi, two female leads of German black-and-white From Fukushima with Love, became best actresses.
The Nest of the Turtledove won National Competition. Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi – the director of much talked-of The Tribe – won Award for the Best Acting in the National Competition for the role in My Grandmother Fanny Kaplan.
For the full list of winners, please visit the OIFF official website.
This year the ceremony was attended by the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, who presented U.S. Maggie’s Plan – the closing film of the OIFF 2016.
‘The U.S. Embassy is extremely proud to present this Festival,’ Mr. Pyatt said. ‘And the most important reason is related to the extraordinary upwelling of artistic creativity and national pride that Ukraine has experienced over the past 2+ years.’
To remind, 100-year-old ‘Sherlock’ was screened on Odessa’s Potyomkin Steps during the OIFF2016.