Magazine article Screen International

MH17 Tragedy Overshadows Odessa

Magazine article Screen International

MH17 Tragedy Overshadows Odessa

Article excerpt

Talya Lavie's Zero Motivation won the Grand Prix at this year's Odessa International Film Festival (OIFF), overshadowed in its final days by the shooting down of a Malaysian Airways plane.

Lavie's debut feature, handled internationally by The Match Factory, was voted by the festival-goers to receive the Golden Duke statuette and the $12,000 cash prize.

Director Lavie and actress Shani Klein were accompanied on stage by the Israel Film Fund Katriel Schory to accept the Grand Prix from the hands of the OIFF president Viktoriya Tigipko.

News of the Malaysian Airways plane tragedy broke early on Thursday evening during a reception in honour of Turkish films showing at the festival.

A minute's silence was held in memory of the crash victims ahead of Gogol Wives' documentary Pussy vs Putin that evening.

On Friday, another minute of silence was held at the beginning of the awards ceremony in memory of the aeroplane's passengers as well as the Ukrainian actor Vitaliy Linetskiy, best known for his role in Firecrosser, who died earlier that day aged 42.

Following Thursday's plane crash, Tigipko said changes would be made to the procedures for the closing ceremony on Saturday evening, and the gala reception and evening entertainment would be cancelled.

Meanwhile, candles were lit on the square in front of the Festival Palace for those who had perished in the crash.

Closing ceremony

The festival's closing ceremony before the screening of the Belgian film Paper Souls began with the presentation of a honorary Golden Duke statuette to the veteran Ukrainian director Kira Muratova for her contribution to cinema.

The international jury, headed by the UK director Peter Webber, gave its award for best film to Levan Koguashvili's festival circuit favourite Blind Dates "for a heartwarming story in keeping with the best traditions of Georgian cinema".

Black Coal, Thin Ice's Yinan Diao was named the competition's best director for "a compellingly directed, unflinching phase of the dark contemporary China".

Angélique Litzenburger received the first film honour of her career with the best actress award for her "brave and intimate performance" in the French film Party Girl.

The jury also gave special mentions to Mexican Alonso Ruizpalacios' Gueros and Russian film-maker Anna Melikyan's Star.

Ukrainian awards

Ahead of the festival-goers' choice for the Grand Prix and the international jury's awards, the winners were announced on Friday for the best pitch and work in progress awards as well as for best Ukrainian short and actor and the FIPRESCI Prize.

The Ukrainian National Film Award jury under Russian documentary film-maker Vitaly Mansky named Maria Kondakova's Fallen Leaves best Ukrainian short film.

Three special diplomas were presented to DoP Sergey Mikhalchuk for his work on The Guide, director Volodymyr Tykhy for his psychological thriller The Green Jacket, and to the husband-and-wife team Maryna Er Gorbach and Mehmet Bahadir Er for the first ever Ukrainian-Turkish co-production Love Me.

The newly created best acting award was shared by The Guide's Stanislav Boklan and Love Me's Ushan Cakir.

Industry Awards

Ukrainian producer Igor Savychenko and his Polish partner Dariusz Jablonski of Apple Film were successful for the second year in a row as the winners of the Film Industry Office's Best Pitch Award.

A cash prize of UAH 50,000 ($4,300) was awarded for the development of Marysia Nikitiuk's When The Trees Are Falling. Last year, the duo had picked up the same award for Marina Vroda's drama Stepne. …

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