The seventh edition of the Odessa International Film Festival, Ukraine's main movie event, kicks off in the Black Sea port city on Friday. U.S. screenwriter Christopher Hampton will become the first ever Hollywood rep to lead the international competition's jury.
OIFF's main section, the international competition, will feature 12 features, including Burn Burn Burn by British director Chanya Button, Rusudan Glurjidze's House of Others, co-produced by Georgia, Spain, Russia and Croatia, and Suntan by Greek filmmaker Argyris Papadimitropoulos.
The fest's other sections are the European documentary competition, national competitions for features and shorts, a special Ukrainian retrospective and two sections focused on the most recent international festival hits, which are called "Festival of Festivals" and "Gala Premieres."
This year, the festival is also set to host its second "Digital Media Day," an event focused on innovations in the field of cinema. Speakers will include Erica Anderson, co-founder of the Seed & Spark platform, Eveline Buchatskiy, director of accelerator TechStars Boston, and Raymond Van Der Kaaij, creative producer and managing director at Revolver Amsterdam, who will be speak about his virtual reality film Amani.
The festival will open Friday night with Magruerite, a French/Czech/Belgian co-production, directed by Xavier Giannoli. Maggie's Plan by U.S. director Rebecca Miller will be screened as the festival's closing night film.
The international jury, headed by U.S. screenwriter Christopher Hampton will announce the winners at the closing ceremony on July 23.