UK director Rufus Norris’ feature debut Broken starring Tim Roth (pictured), Cillian Murphy and Rory Kinnear has won Odessa International Film Festival’s (OIFF) Grand Prix, the Golden Duke statuette and $15,000 in prize money.
The prize was handed out at a glittering awards ceremony on Saturday evening (21) in the Black Sea port’s historical Opera Theatre before the closing film of The Angel’s Share by Ken Loach.
The Grand Prix was awarded as a result of voting by the festival’s audience, which reached a total of 100,000 admissions this year according to OIFF’s president Viktoriya Tigipko,
Meanwhile the international jury, headed by Russian film critic Andrei Plakhov and including German actor Alexander Fehling and directors Michale Boganim and Olias Barco, unanimously presented its best director award to Benoit Delépine and Gustave de Kervern for Le Grand Soir.
Acting honours went to the ensemble of Kirsten Sheridan’s film Dollhouse while Sergei Loznitsa’s In The Fo, winner of the Golden Apricot Film Festival’s grand prix in the Armenian capital Yerevan last week, was named best film.
The previous day, the jury of the Ukrainian National Competition, which included Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg managing director Kirsten Niehuus and Rezo Films’ Laurent Danielou, gave their Golden Duke for best film to Akhtem Seytablaev’s Backstreet Champions for its “topicality and the acting performances.”
In addition, the FIPRESCI jury awarded its prize went to Oleg Sentsov’s Gamer and the jury of the International Federation Of Film Clubs presented the Don Quixote Prize to Business As Usual by Valentin Vasyanovich. Serbian filmmaker Srdan Dragojevic’s The Parade earned a special mention.
International guests at OIFF’s third edition included Claudia Cardinale, Peter Greenaway, Michael Madsen, Todd Solondz, Daryl Hannah, Cillian Murphy, Rebecca O’Brien and Sergei Loznitsa.
Festival organisers reported a dead heat in voting at the Industry Programme’s public pitching, where the international jury of experts included sales agent Philippe Bober, producer Dmitry Rudovsky and the Ukrainian State Film Agency’s Kateryna Kopylova.
The European experts favoured Oleg Sentsov’s second feature, the crime drama Rhino, while the Russian and producers preferred Georgiy Deliev’s $1.4m satirical comedy Hostage.
A compromise was reached “after long discussions” with the UAH 25,000 ($3,100) prize for best film project finally going to Rhino, which already has 50% of its $990,000 budget in place from the Ukrainian State Film Agency.
Hostage is reportedly the subject of co-production interest from such production companies as Pro-TV, Star Media and Art Pictures.
The 10 projects pitched this year also included the Ukraine’s answer to The Fast & The Furious, Bakhtiar Khudoinazarov’s $4m action road movie Drugs Of Steel, which will shoot in Kiev and Odessa.
Producer Maria Lopationok of Cinema Project Group promised “high-octane stunts and special effects including exploding cars” with a cast that is set to feature Russian stars Vladimir Epifantsev and Dmitry Diuzhev and Germany’s Til Schweiger.
Moreover the industry audience – which included international guests Katriel Schory (Israel Film Fund), Brigitta Manthey (Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg) and Joel Chapron (Unifrance) – heard pitches from Russian director Nikolay Khomeriki for his $3.96m new feature Nesterov Loop, to be produced by Yuri Smirnov’s Aurora Production, while Ukrainian writer-director Sergei Lysenko pitched the $300,000 dramedy The Call which producer Viktor Shcheglov of Foley Art Studio plans to part-finance via crowdsourcing.
At the same time, Odessa’s Film Market was held for a second time this year from Jul 16-19 with a dozen distributors – including B & H Film Distribution Company, Arthouse Traffic, Aurora Film, Inter-film and Cascade Ukraine – presenting screenings of upcoming releases such as Dykhless and To Rome With Love as well as trailers to Ukrainian exhibitors.