Odessa International Film Festival to Kick Off on July 13

Ukraine's main film event moves to a bigger venue this year.

MOSCOW – The third edition of the Odessa International Film Festival (OIFF), Ukraine’s main film event, is to kick off on July 13 in the Ukrainian Black Sea port city.

“We are doubling in size with each edition,” Denis Ivanov, the festival’s director, told The Hollywood Reporter. “This year, we are inaugurating a new, 1,200 seat festival center, and we expect about 100,000 viewers to turn up.”

Among the highlights of the international competition are Sergei Loznitsa’s V Tumane (In the Fog), a WWII drama premiered at Cannes last May; Garbage by American director Phil Volken, focused on the story of two Hollywood garbage truck drivers; Poslednyaya Skazka Rity, (Rita's Last Fairy Tale) by Russian actress/director/screenwriter Renata Litvinova, centered on three women in a mental institution, and the teenage drama Dollhouse by Irish director Kirsten Sheridan.

“We position ourselves as an art mainstream festival,” Ivanov commented on the program’s selection criteria. “We want the movies we are screening in the international competition to have art value, to communicate to audiences and to raise acute current issues.”

Apart from the international competition, the fest is to feature a Ukrainian national competition and about half a dozen special programs, including “French Panorama” and “Lost World: Ukrainian Cinema of the Early 1990s.” OIFF is also holding a retrospective of movies by Todd Solondz, who is expected to show up in Odessa.

The festival’s professional program, which features round tables, panel discussions and pitching sessions, is to be drastically expanded, compared with last year. “We are basically bringing in the entire Ukrainian film industry here,” Ivanov commented.

Matteo Garrone’s Reality is to be screened as the opening night movie, and the festival is to close on July 21 with Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share.