Molodist International Film Festival 2015
Report by Ygor Gama Lopes (#YA)
It was one more grey day in Berlin when an e-mail arrived from the Molodist Film Festival inviting me to present #YA at the International Shorts Competition. I remembered one year ago, I was seeing the images from Euromaidan and discussing how our film about civil disobedience and globalization could dialogue with this new movement. It felt very right to go and receive the feedback from the public; it was about celebrating dreams and hopes from the past that suddenly are blossoming. I just was not sure how to deal with the costs and organize my stay. The invitation from AG Kurzfilm came some hours after, offering support and a very interesting program of activities in Kiev. Now, everything was fitting.
One thing I really appreciated was that all international participants of the festival were lodged in the same boat-hotel floating on Hydropark. This allowed to a very rich exchange, since we had plenty of time to see each other and discuss our projects. For our luck, there were very interesting professionals coming this year to the festival as directors and producers from Europe and Asia. I feel that in this occasion, the networks were created with more quality, and were deeper than in bigger festivals when you have a lot of events and new people arriving every day. I often laughed with my peers from Germany that we needed to travel so far, to have the time to know each other.
Our main screening was at midday in the Dark Blue Hall of the Kyiv Cinema, the main festival venue. It was half-full, but honored with the presence of other directors that got interested in our work during our spontaneous meetings on the "Boat". The second screening was at night in Kinopanorama, a very beautiful old theater from soviet times. The same happened, half-full theater and some nice directors appearing. We received a lot of questions from the public and a lot of care from the organizers of the Festival, this was my favorite part. I didn't like much the technical quality of the screenings, one in DCP and other in .MOV. Seems that unfortunately these cinemas are underfunded and supported, though the festival crew is very honest in trying to do a good festival.
The German Short Film Association (AG Kurzfilm) produced 2 workshop-days to support the local filmmakers in developing their projects and careers. It was a great opportunity to escape some time from the festival's bubble, and get to know better the city, its people, what they are dealing with. The majority of the projects presented had a strong post-Maidan feeling and the will to show to the world the new country they had been fighting for, how it feels now. I'm not sure how the politics of cinema and culture works in Ukraine, but it became visible with the presentations, the lack of support and appropriate education for the development of these young filmmakers. I think they really enjoyed our presence and were very grateful to receive the feedback. As a result, everyone from Germany was doing their best and offering advice not just during the festival but for the next phases of their works. We got closer; some kind connection was created in just 2 days.
I spent almost one week in Kiev which allowed me to have the time to go regularly to the screening of the festival films. For people who have that opportunity I really recommend to do it. Molodist makes a very interesting selection, with award-winning films – Rotterdam, Berlinale, Venice, Cannes, etc. – as well as unknown pieces. Many times in festivals we are very busy promoting our films, attending markets, meeting professionals. Here it is calmer, so it's a good opportunity to get a panoramic view of what's going on, to understand the state-of-cinema.
I arrived back to Berlin with my mind and heart very fresh and ready to make difficult decisions on my new films. Soon, a very strong e-mail popped out on my cell-phone, but we shall leave these new adventures for later. Thank you for the support, AG Kurzfilm and German Films, it came in a very important moment of my career. And good luck for the new participants of this project, enjoy the cinema, the food and the people!