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Odesa International Film Festival 2021: The National Competition Programme


The 12th Odesa International Film Festival, from August 14 to 21, has announced its calendar. In particular, the OIFF press conference announced the programme of the National Competition, part of the out-of-competition films and special events.


This year, the Odesa International Film Festival will be dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence and will focus on national cinema.

The National Competition Programme of the 12th Odessa International Film Festival includes 6 feature films:

“Rap kings”, directed by Myroslav Latyk, Ukraine, 2021, 100 ‘The protagonist of the musical tape is a 17-year-old graduate of a rural school nicknamed Kazan. Above all, the guy dreams of becoming a famous rapper and conquering the heart of his girlfriend Sveta. For the sake of realising his dreams, Kazan is ready to take risks, but circumstances direct his life in another direction.

“Blindfolded”, directed by Taras Dron, Ukraine, 2020, 100 ‘The film, based on real events, tells the story of an athlete of fights without rules, Julia, who is trying to build a new life after her boyfriend died in the ATO zone. Julia gives up sports and starts a new relationship to free herself from the role of the widow of a war hero imposed on her by society. The best film of the “1-2” competition of the Warsaw IFF (2020).

“Space”, directed by Dmytro Tomashpolsky, Ukraine, 2021, 101 ‘Fantastic film “Space” is a story about the first contact of people with UFOs, which, by coincidence, occurred during the quarantine period of 2020…

“The National Museum”, directed by Andriy Zagdansky, Ukraine / USA, 2020, 92 ’This film is a portrait of the National Art Museum of Ukraine. For six months, the authors of the documentary watched the life of the museum – from the installation and opening of an exhibition of Ukrainian icons, which miraculously survived the destruction of the Brotherhood Monastery in Kyiv, to the installation and opening of an avant-garde genius Alexander Bogomazov. From the Ukrainian Baroque to the Ukrainian avant-garde is the narrative line of the film and the symbolic path of Ukrainian art and, it seems, of Ukraine itself.

“Stop Zemlya”, directed by Kateryna Hornostay, Ukraine, 2021, 122′. The plot of the film revolves around the life of 16-year-old Masha, who studies at a regular school in Kiev. Her close friends Yana and Senya help her not to feel strange and detached in the team, experiencing a busy school life in her own way. In addition to future exams, Masha is forced to fall out of the comfort zone by falling in love with her classmate Sasha. She understands that if you do not dare – you will never know if there is something in return. The film received the “Crystal Bear” as the best film of the competition program Generation 14plus 71st Berlinale.

“Rival”, directed by Marcus Lenz, Ukraine / Germany, 2020, 96 Nine-year-old Roman follows his mother Oksana to Germany where she is working illegally. She is living there with the 62-year-old widower Gert, who suffers from diabetes. Gert tries to make friends with the boy, but Roman struggles for his mother’s attention. When Oksana suddenly falls ill, Roman is left alone with his rival. Gert turns out to be a good playmate until he dies in an accident. Roman is all alone and can now live out his wild curiosity and longing for freedom. Then the novel with the corpse is trapped in the real wilderness… The best camera work at the IFF “November” in Minsk (2020).

“Rival” by Marcus Lenz

Also in the National competition program will be shown 8 short films:

  • “Run, Tanya, Run”, dir. Sofia Polishchuk
  • “Unnecessary things”, dir. Dmitry Lisenbart
  • “Second Wave”, dir. Maria Stoyanova
  • “Dad’s sneakers”, dir. Olga Zhurba
  • “Leopolis night”, dir. Nikon Romanchenko
  • “Maria”, dir. Vlad Odudenko
  • “The Tiger is strolling around”, dir. Anastasia Falileeva
  • “Good boy”, dir. Maria Ponomareva

The retrospective of Ukrainian films “Independents”, which will be shown within the 12th OIFF together with the Dovzhenko Center, includes the best films shot during the 30 years of Ukraine’s independence. In particular, the program features the following feature films:

  • Oxygen Starvation, Ukraine / Canada, 1991
  • Shamara, Ukraine, 1994
  • A Friend of the Deceased, Ukraine / France, 1995
  • The Tuner, Ukraine / Russia, 2004
  • My Joy, Ukraine / Germany / Netherlands, 2010
  • The Tribe, Ukraine / Netherlands, 2014
  • The Earth Is Blue as an Orange, Ukraine / Lithuania, 2020
“The Tuner” by Kira Muratova

The most famous world film hits will be traditionally presented in the non-competitive programme “Festival of Festivals” OIFF. This year they are the winners of the Cannes, Berlin and Venice festivals, the Sundance Film Festival and others.

  • “Annette” (directed by Leos Carax) is the opening film of the 74th Cannes Film Festival and the Best Director Award.
  • “Memory” (directed by Apichatpong Virasetakul) – the prize of the jury of the Cannes Film Festival 2021
  • “The Worst Person in the World” (directed by Joachim Trier) is the prize of the 74th Cannes Film Festival for Best Actor (Renate Rainswe)
  • “Hero” (dir. Asgar Farhadi) – Grand Prix of the 74th Cannes Film Festival
  • Cryptozoo (directed by Desh Shaw) – NEXT award of the Sundance Film Festival (2021); Special award of the jury of the Generation 14plus competition of the Berlin IFF (2021)
  • “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (dir. Cauter Ben Chania) – Edipo Re Award of the Venice Film Festival 2020, Oscar nomination

Also, the 12th Odessa International Film Festival continues to announce films from the out-of-competition Gala Premiere program. The section presents art hits that will soon be released in Ukraine and are participants in the main competition programs of leading international film festivals.

  • “The Legend of the Green Knight” (directed by David Lowry) – the opening film of the out-of-competition program “Gala Premiere”
  • “Gunda (directed by Viktor Kosakovsky) – nominated for the European Film Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2020
  • “Next Door” (directed by Daniel Bruhl) – the main competition of the Berlin Film Festival 2021
  • “Benedetta” (directed by Paul Verguven) is the main competition of the 74th Cannes Film Festival.

The programme of the 12th Odessa International Film Festival is being supplemented.