Ukraine's Odessa Film Fest Scales Back Amid Political Turmoil

5:01 AM PST 02/27/2014 by Vladimir Kozlov
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Protestors in Ukraine

The country's top international film event is still scheduled for July 11-19, despite the ongoing crisis in Kiev.

MOSCOW -- Ukraine's biggest international film event, the Odessa Film Festival, won't be canceled because of the political turmoil in the country, but its fifth edition, scheduled to be held in July, will be lower-key, said the organizers.

"The festival is to be held for sure," reads a statement published on the festival's Facebook page. "The festival's team will do everything possible [to make sure it won't be canceled]."

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The dire financial problems that the Ukrainian government is currently facing are unlikely to have a major impact on the festival's finances, according to the organizers, because government cash accounts for only 15 percent of the event's budget.

However, the recent events in Ukraine are certain to take some toll on the festival.

"2014 is going to be a difficult year, so the festival is to run without any unnecessary glitz," reads the statement. "All the efforts will be focused on maintaining the festival's international level and selecting a top-quality lineup."

The Odessa International Film Festival was launched in the Black Sea port city of Odessa in 2010 and quickly emerged as Ukraine's main international film event.

Over 100,000 viewers attended the festival's screenings last year, and the event's budget was €3 million ($3.9 million), most of which came from private sponsors.

This year's edition is scheduled to run July 11-19.

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