Odessa Film Festival Screens Eight Ongoing Works in Karlovy Vary – Deadline

The specter of war in Ukraine loomed over the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) on Tuesday as it hosted the annual Work in Progress showcase of the Odessa Ukrainian International Film Festival (OIFF).

In its 13th edition, the showcase is normally taking place as part of OIFF, which was due to take place in its Black Sea resort from July 23-30 but was canceled due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. February 24.

“It’s a strange feeling because we were preparing to hold our festival in Odessa as usual until February 24, and now we have to travel to other festivals to present our projects, but it’s a way to continue “, festival director Anna Machuh told Deadline.

“I hope that by next year these films will be finished and we will watch them in cinemas in Ukraine and in Odessa during the festival,” added Muchuh, who is also the head of the Ukrainian Academy. the cinema.

Such a decision is not an option at the moment as long as the threat of Russian missile attacks persists. Last Saturday (July 2), a Russian missile hit a building and a leisure center just outside the port city, killing 21 people including a child.

“I’m not ready to organize an event in Ukraine at the moment,” Machuh said.

The showcase featured eight feature films, most of which had just finished filming or were about to be packaged, as Russian tanks began arriving in the country in February.

“It’s like being a national football team playing together in exile, but at the same time it’s a huge show of solidarity from Karlovy Vary and we’re happy to be here,” producer Denis Ivanov said of the showcase. . “We have an interesting and diverse selection, spanning every genre, drama, melodrama, dark comedy, sci-fi and documentary, that we want to see completed.”

The events of the last four and a half months had given a number of projects in the selection a new resonance.

Documentary feature film steel company by Yulilia Hontaruk follows three battle-hardened men, who have returned to civilian life after spending time on the war front in eastern Ukraine, and now see the specter of conflict on their doorstep with the attempted large-scale invasion of Russia in February.

Hontaruk, which has been following its three leads since 2014, has extended its shoot, to incorporate the new reality, and aims to wrap up later this month.

For Taras Dron The glass houseproducer Valeria Sochyvets said many filming locations for the film in and around the Kyiv capital have since been destroyed.

The contemporary drama stars Iryna Verenych-Ostrovska, an outwardly successful woman whose life is turned upside down when her daughter disappears, amid suspicions she was involved in the drug trade.

Director Dron recounted how his decision to shoot on 35mm also led to a difficult time when production attempted to transport stock to Bucharest for post-production, as the threat of a Russian invasion loomed in mid -february.

“We had a problem with customs, and it got blocked, it finally left on the 22nd, just before the declaration of war,” he says.

A number of projects revealed how Ukraine is still dealing with decades of Soviet rule and the impact of the fall of the Soviet bloc in 1989.

Deny Tarasov’s 1970s set Diagnosis: Dissent revolves around an anti-establishment rock band singer who is placed in a grim mental institution where dissidents are “treated” for challenging Soviet doctrine. Tarasov suggested that this kind of violent psychological coercion is on the rise again in totalitarian states like Russia.

The drama of Tonia Noyabrova Do you love me? follows a 16-year-old whose family crumbles amid the societal and economic chaos that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

“When I go from my story to where I am today, I feel like I belong now. I’m looking for love, support. I feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere because of war and I feel like a refugee everywhere,” said Noyabrova.

Director Anna Buryachakova, who presented contemporary theater When we were 15, about a teenager dealing with the scars of abuse by an ex-boyfriend as she moves to a new school, also alluded to the “lost teenage generation of the 1990s” in her speech.

“I’m pretty sure 90% of the movies you’ve seen today are made by us, lost 90s teenagers, that’s us. In times of war, what we understand is that these lost teens are the bravest and most dedicated fighters for freedom… it’s because we know what an abusive relationship is, we know what a good relationship is and a bad one is and we don’t want to no longer be there.

Ivanov conducted his presentation Natalka Vorozhbyt’s demons on crutches, having recently broken his leg during military training.

The film, which still had four days to shoot during the Russian invasion, revolves around the relationship between a larger-than-life Ukrainian woman and a homeless Russian writer.

“The main character also broke his leg, but that doesn’t stop him from seducing a homeless Russian writer,” he joked as he walked off the pitch.

The film is the second feature by respected screenwriter Vorozhbyt whose first feature, the Donbass-set bad roads had its world premiere in Venice in 2020 and was Ukraine’s entry to the 2021 Oscars.

Director Pavlo Ostrikov presented his first feature film, the sci-fi black comedy you are the universe about a space trucker who inadvertently blows up the entire universe while transporting nuclear waste to become the only living human being. He said finishing the film was an act of resistance in the face of Russian aggression.

“Russia is not only destroying our towns and villages, it is also destroying our culture and this is my fight against that,” he said.

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