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The Mykolaichuk OPEN Audience Film Festival gears up for its second edition


- This year’s iteration of the Ukrainian gathering, set to unspool in Chernivtsi in June, will hold international and national competitions for the first time

The Mykolaichuk OPEN Audience Film Festival gears up for its second edition
The festival organisers: producer Oleksii Gladushevskiy, programme director Alex Malyshenko and the rest of the team from Kyiv and Chernivtsi

From 15-20 June 2023, the second edition of the Mykolaichuk OPEN Audience Film Festival will take place in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. The festival was initially created during the full-scale invasion of the country by Russia (see the news). This year, despite the ongoing war, the festival is expanding, and is introducing an international feature-film competition and a national short-film competition.

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“Many people think that the most difficult thing is to do something for the first time – like we did with our festival, for example. However, I believe that the second attempt is more important because it is better thought out and more finely balanced. We decided not just to reproduce what we had already done, but also to make our life harder – to hold an international competition. I hope we will succeed,” says general producer of the Mykolaichuk OPEN Audience Film Festival Oleksii Gladushevskyy.

The festival’s committee of organisers is focused on films that appeal to a wide audience, but which also boast significant artistic qualities. The selection will encompass both genre and arthouse movies. Features from all over the world (including Ukraine) produced in 2022-2023 will be eligible for the international feature competition. The national short-film competition will accept Ukrainian films of any genre (fiction, animation or documentary), of up to 30 minutes long, created in 2022-2023. The movies can be submitted until 10 March 2023 via the FilmFreeway festival platform. Submission is free of charge.

The winners will be determined through audience voting. The victor in the international feature competition will receive a cash prize of $1,000, while the director of the best Ukrainian short will be given $500.

The Chernivtsi City Council and the Chernivtsi Regional Council are supporting this year’s event. In June 2022, the Mykolaichuk OPEN Audience Film Festival became the first film gathering to be held offline during the full-scale Russian invasion. Ten Ukrainian films that had not yet been released were shown, and a Mantas Kvedaravičius retrospective was also on the agenda. The festival was started as a call to prevent the destruction of the Ukrainian film industry and aimed to demonstrate the significant successes of domestic cinema to the audience. The crowded movie theatres proved that Ukrainian cinema is alive and kicking, and very much needed.

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