Viktoriya Tigipko, Managing Partner at TA Ventures venture capital fund, the President of the Odessa International Film Festival.

Виктория Тигипко

5 Things You Need To Know About the 7th Odessa International Film Festival Shared by Viktoriya Tigipko.

This year  Odessa International Film Festival will be held  on July, 15-23. Our team has made a big job in order to show you soon the most interesting films and to tell you about the innovations in the film production. Today I am going to tell all the readers of EatDressTravel about 5 main reasons to follow the main film event of the country.

1. Reason number one is obviously films. The concept of the film festival remains the same – we chose films in the art-mainstream genre – intellectual, smart films to be watched by everyone. This year we will show 103 films, which are presented by 32 countries and 4 continents (Europe, the Northern and the Southern America, and Asia). All together, we have received about 900 applications for participation from 75 countries. Just imagine: one third of the globe has believed participation in our Festival to be important! This is why we have made a big and uneasy work in order to select the best films among the applicants. This year the International contest programme offers 12 films, the National contest programme offers 25 works – 5 full-meter movies and 20 short-meter movies. 6 out of 12 movies of the International contest programme are film-director debuts of their creators and for two contestants participation at the OIFF is the global premier. There also can be traced an obvious female trend – 7 out of 12 films of the International contest were directed by women. This is rather a coincidence as most of the members of the selection committee of the OIFF are men ☺

This year the Festival’s contest programmes are incredibly strong. The winner of the main award of the film festival is chosen by the viewers, so I think that they will have to make a tough choice this time! We are waiting for all the cinema lovers in Odessa, and I promise that everything will be very interesting!

2. Reason number two: series episodes in the movies and European documentary films. Our team visits a great number of global festivals and we actively follow the global trends, as well as we implement the latest trends in our work. During the 7th OIFF the guests of the Festival, apart from the movies, will be watching episodes as well! We are aware that the series episodes start to separate from the purely TV genre into their own kind of cinematograph. Within the last 5 years only there have been released more than 8000 premier series around the world! I think everyone knows about the phenomenon of the “Games of Thrones”, which has become a true global sensation. Hollywood film stars also start trying themselves in this genre: Shaun Bean (in several series at a time: “Legends”, “Games of Thrones” and others), Charlie Sheen (“Two and Half Men”), Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”), and even Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”). Hollywood film directors neither stand aside: Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg were working at the drama miniseries “Band of Brothers”, Martin Scorsese was shooting the pilot episode of “Boardwalk Empire”. And even Woody Allen himself is shooting series now! We have decided to keep the pace: this July already we are going to present 6 premier series. Believe me and trust me: watching series in a cinema is an indescribable and new experience!

Another innovation of this year OIFF is a contest among European documentary films. One of the global trends of the last few years has been the growing popularity of the documentary genre. This is also reflected in the programs of the world’s festivals: for example, at the 66th Berlin Film Festival there were shown 77 documentaries, whereas the documentary “Fire at Sea” by Gianfranco Rosi became the winner and the holder of “Golden Bear” (by the way, this year we will show it at the OIFF). Currently, the documentary genre is popular not only among the film directors, but among the audience as well, as some documentaries collect box office comparable to the Hollywood premieres (about 20 million dollars). Taking into account the growing interest to the documentary genre, this year, we have established a new Contest among European documentary films. The program of the contest includes six films from Belgium, France, Ukraine, Georgia and other countries.

3. Reason number three: we are getting back to the Opera Theatre. Surely, I must state one of the most important changes of the 7th Odessa International Film Festival: we are getting back to the Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, which will host the Opening and the Closing ceremonies of the Festival. For us, coming back to the Odessa Opera House is like coming back home. We have a common history with the Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, as the renowned Head of the city Duke de Richelieu can be named our common ancestor. It was his initiative to build the Odessa Opera House in order to unite the multicultural Odessa speaking multiple languages, as music was something that was able to unite people with different customs, interests and languages. From the first day the stage of Odessa Opera House was taken by the best voices of Europe, and afterwards – of the world. Today, movie combines music, fashion, theater, and continues to connect people of different nationalities, cultures, tastes and hobbies. And I am pleased that the main festival prize – Golden Duke – is awarded to the most outstanding figures of the world of art and cinema, continuing the tradition of Duke de Richelieu, much adored by Odessa dwellers.

4. Reason number four: film performance at the Potiomkin stairs. At the second day of the Festival there will be held one of the most large-scale, bright and important events of the OIFF – a film performance at the Potiomkin stairs. More than 15 thousand viewers come annually to watch the classics of the world cinema accompanied by the symphonic orchestra under the star sky of Odessa. This makes the film demonstration one of the most large-scale open-air film demonstrations of the Eastern Europe.

This year guests of the Potiomkin stairs will be watching the unique film “Sherlock Holmes” shot in 1916, and celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. It had been believed to be lost until 2015 when the French cinematheque announced that they found several copies of the film on tapes. This is the version of the movie about the world’s famous detective, which was shot during the life of Arthur Conan Doyle. It was the writer himself who recommended that the role of the great detective was played by theater actor William Gillette, who created the image of Holmes, which is familiar to each of us now – it was in the interpretation of Gillett that Holmes first appeared on screen in a hunting hat, with a pipe and a walking stick.

5. Reason number five: the OIFF is more than films. Festival activities are not limited to the sphere of cinema. We hold a lot of special performances, art exhibitions, books readings and many more. After all, the movie is rightly called the synthesis of a variety of other arts – theater, literature, music, painting and others. Thus, the film is inseparable from the fine arts, and fine arts, in their turn, are inseparable from the movie. This year we have decided to combine all of these forms of creativity in a special art program of the 7th Odessa International Film Festival, which has been called “ART OIFF”. Within this program, at 3 locations, there will be held expositions, exhibitions and presentations of art projects. Exclusively for the “ART OIFF”, for the first time ever, there will be opened the doors of the Odessa Navy Museum, which was transformed into an art space.

It also should be noted that over time the OIFF has become one of the most important communication platforms for film professionals, thanks to the professional activities, such as the Film Industry and the Film Market. Our goals are growing along with the scale of the festival – we want the OIFF to become a networking-platform for communication between representatives of the cultural and business communities, both Ukrainian and international. Last year, we held the first Digital Media Day – as an experimental platform with a series of lectures, during which international experts talked about innovations in the film production process. The guests of the Festival liked the event so much that this year we have decided to hold it for the second time. Guests of the event will hear presentations of Dutch producer Raymond Van Der Kaaij and co-founder of FilmDoo Virada Sucharitkul, and other speakers. Raymond Van Der Kaaij will tell about the creation of a 360 degrees virtual reality film Amani, and Virada will tell about his company FilmDoo, an international platform (125 countries), which helps talented young producers and directors of independent films from around the world to find their audience.

This year we want to integrate business elite as well. Therefore, we have decided to organize a closed meeting “OIFF BUSINESS CLUB”, within which there will be held lectures from top business visionaries. These people have a unique experience, and during the meeting they will share their vision on the business and on social processes, as well as they will share inspiring ideas.