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Kyiv 37th Molodist Film festival, report by Jenny Eimer, Germany

Cinema in Kyiv 2007

Being invited to the 37th Molodist Festival in Kiev was on very short notice for me. Nevertheless I am very glad not to have missed that chance to be a member of the FICC Jury for the first time.

“The Molodist festival is a festival of youth and will always be”, that’s what local people told me, meaning, besides focusing on first feature films it still seems to face organizational problems just as if being a young festival. ‘Molodist’ means ‘youth’ in Ukrainian language, all the young and ambitious volunteers in the team help to make the atmosphere very fresh young, relaxed and less informal.

The juries have been taken care of very sensitively. Together with the members of the FIPRECI jury (international film critics) and ecumenical jury (different religions) we have been taken around and a daily plan has been worked out for us, including screenings, receptions at different embassies, dinners and parties.
So, by spending most of the time together, the very diverse personalities of us with different backgrounds got to know each other and it almost felt like the three different juries have been growing together as one, which according to former members of juries, is very unusual.
This certainly did not affect our decisions and opinions about the values of the films. The films chosen to be awarded have been dealing with very different issues.
The FICC jury (consisting only of Mart Rummo from Estonia and myself, because the third Ukrainian member was absent, which still is a mystery to me) decided to give the Don Quijote Prize to Juris Poskus from Latvia for his film “Monotony”, which is an entertaining portrait of young people trying to find a find their way out of life into life. The Characters are modelled based on everyday reality, which made them appealing to us.

I want to praise the festival for a very pleasant and diverse film selection and good publicity. The red hall of the new main venue ‘Cinema Kiev’ was filled for almost all screenings. Even stairs and floors haven been covered with young and old Ukrainian people, eager to watch foreign films and meet foreign artists. It was conspicuous and funny to me that many films (such as winning film “California Dreamin’” by Cristian Nemescu, Romania, also grand-prix winning film “The Band’s visit” by Eran Kolirin, Israel-France and short film “Granitsa” by Vanja D’Alcantara) were dealing with communication problems, arising from a lack of knowledge in languages. This problem was just as well very present outside the cinema halls in Kiev.

As mentioned in former reports of Molodist festival, problems like the lack of subtitles for all screenings or late release of the catalogue are still issues, which the organizers have to deal with to improve in professionalism. I do not want to repeat them. The festival is doing its best and in my eyes is doing a very good job at bringing together people from different cultures, who all have one thing in common, which is the love for cinema and life.

Aside from the screening I have met very distinctive people and experienced some bizarre times, which I am thankful for. These ten days in Kiev have been outstanding for me.

Jenny Eimer, member of Germany’s non-commercial cultural cinema houses.
October 2007