The 42nd Kyiv International Film Festival Molodist opened in a solemn atmosphere, created by the luxurious hall of the National Opera, to Mykola Lysenko’s music, which made an emphasis on the strong “Ukrainian segment of this year’s festival.”
Without unneeded fuss and invited hosts, Andrii Khalpakhchi, the festival’s director general presented quite a broad program of the competition films, retrospectives, and special screenings, the jury, and gave an opportunity to state officials, as it is stipulated by the regulations, to congratulate the guests and participants.
A peculiar feature was that the head of the Kyiv State Administration Oleksandr Popov emerged on stage and underlined that Kyiv is proud of this impressive forum, which has been existing and adorning the cultural life of the capital for several decades, and that the city is going to support Molodist every year. This is good news, because in all civilized countries, understanding and really feeling the prestige of successful holding of such kind of events of their own image, the authorities of the cities where they are held, show real interest. And if the Ministry of Culture, this time embodied by the Agency for Cinematography Affairs of Ukraine, has been regularly supporting the festival, the Kyiv Administration has started doing so only this year. And though as yet it has not been possible to realize this support in the promised scope, Popov assured that next year the funding will be higher.
The main jury is headed by the famous Hungarian director Zoltan Kamondi, and his international team includes an animator from Canada Theodore Ushev, young Russian film director, who has proved his competence, Boris Khlebnikov, head of the Golden Orange International Film Festival, former winner of Molodist Artur Khachatrian (Armenia), and Ukrainian audience’s favorite actress Natalia Sumska.
The FIPRESCI jury is headed by the brilliant cinema expert and critic from Russia Kirill Razlogov. The jury of Ukrainian competition under the aegis of the well-known producer Vlad Ryashin included one of the directors of the Dovzhenko Center, indefatigable Ivan Kozlenko, and theater and cinema critic Serhii Vasyliev.
The movie Self-Seeker shot by Mykola Shpykovsky in 1929 became a discovery of the festival. This masterfully shot and absolutely actual satire today with brilliant performance of wonderful actors was forbidden from screening. It was found owing to a laudatory review of Osyp Mandelshtam found in his memoirs. The restored version has been presented for the broad audience by the Dovzhenko Foundation. The movie has authentic Ukrainian subtitles, but the soundtrack is new, written specially to reinforce the visual perception. It was performed by the chamber symphony orchestra Kyiv-Klassik conducted by Herman Makarenko.
The screening of Self-Seeker set a very high standard of the artistic level, from which summit one will watch the movies during the festival week. Judging from the program and personalities, the audience won’t be disappointed.