Kyiv, June 15, 2016. This year’s festival “Open Night” will be held on June 25 – 26. “This year’s competition program will consist of 19 films – feature, documentary and animation films. The non-competition program includes 12 films. So, this year we have 31 films at the festival,” said Mykhailo Illyenko, president & art director of the festival, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Festival “Open Night” will be held for the 19th year in a row, reminded Pylyp Illyenko, head of the State Agency on Ukrainian Cinema. He noted that the festival had become a way to discover new talent in Ukrainian cinema. “Practically all modern Ukrainian filmmakers whose names are well-known today – Les Sanin, Myroslav Slaboshpytsky, Taras Tkachenko, Taras Tomenko, Stepan Koval and a number of others passed through the ‘Open night’ festival,” he detailed.
Works based on modern Ukrainian realities, including the theme of war, were selected for the festival. “We want it to be of current interest, an alternative to our neighbor’s propaganda,” said Mr. Illienko. Czech short films will also be presented. “We want to bring three young directors. They come from completely different backgrounds, so this should be interesting for the Ukrainian audience,” said Lucie Řehoříková, Director of the Czech Centre in Kiev. “We will present eight short films, a literary anthology that came out last year. We will also present a Czech-Slovak film-documentary mystification “Ropaky,” which won the Student Oscar in 1988,” she noted. They will also show a short comedy “Gag Anatomy” with Vaclav Havel playing one of the main roles. The program also includes a master class from Czech producers for Ukrainian students.
The main location will be “Art Dock” at Kyiv River Port, but on the whole, the festival will be held at 60 venues in different regions of Ukraine, including the front-line area – Slovyansk, Rubizhne, Starobilsk, Lysychansk, Volnovakha, Bakhmut, Severodonetsk and several other towns. “As events showed, they are happy to see us there,” said Mykhailo Illyenko. There will also be three locations abroad, in the UK – Manchester and London, and in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
This year’s jury has already been partially approved. It will include, in particular, film critic Oleg Verhelis, producer Igor Savychenko and a representative of the Czech Centre in Kiev and several more representatives from cinema. Mykhailo Illyenko said, that this year some political leaders – Olexandr Bryhynets, Ruslan Kozhulynskyi, Oksana Korchynska, Mykola Kniazhytskyi and Yegor Sobolev were also invited to the jury. “Cinema is rather disassociated from power nowadays. This will be a small attempt to take a step towards each other,” he explained. Spectators will also be partly involved in assessing the films through SMS-voting and selecting an audience award film.
Mykhailo Illyenko noted that the prize money was collected through festival participants’ contributions. Their total amount was 11,600 UAH. The prize for the Grand Prix is 50 thousand UAH. These funds were provided by Raiffeisen Bank Aval. The partners of the Festival were included, the Czech Centre in Kiev and the Embassy of the Czech Republic to Ukraine, Ukrainian State Film Agency, event – company “Babylon” and the Kyiv City Council.