The Second Sukhum International Film Festival was solemnly opened on Thursday, April 4. The SIFF-2019 festival is organised by the State Committee on Youth Policy of Abkhazia and will last until April 8.
This year, the competition initially received about 3,000 applications from around the world, of which 30 short films were selected. The number of nominees for the main prize included participants from Spain, France, Germany, South Korea, Poland, Kosovo, Iran, Estonia, Tunisia, Italy, Romania, Greece, China, Kazakhstan, Andorra, Turkey, Russia, Belarus and Abkhazia. The Grand Prix of the film festival provides for a cash reward of 200 thousand rubles.
Motion pictures of the festival will be judged by a competent international jury. It consists of Russian directors Alexei Fedorchenko and Nigina Sifulaeva, the winner of the 2018 SIFF Irina Volkova, film critic from the Netherlands Mike Nafs, Abkhaz director Ada Kviraya.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the jury chairman Alexei Fedorchenko emphasized the specificity and expressiveness of short films, expressing the opinion that this genre is more complex than full-length cinema.
“I am pleased to accept invitations to short film festivals, because one can really be surprised and learn something only here. Directors of short films break traditions and schemes. I am sure that the films presented at this film festival will be a great discovery for us,” said the director.
At the opening, the welcoming speech of President Raul Khadjimba was read out. The President of Abkhazia expressed confidence that “the brightest and most talented film projects selected for the film festival will receive a worthy assessment of the audience and film critics.” Raul Khadzhimba noted that the film festival influences the strengthening of the positive image of Abkhazia in the world, and also allows it to open up and show itself to young Abkhaz directors, scriptwriters, cameramen.
This year, the number of thirty contestants included a young Abkhaz filmmaker Janiko Tsurtsumiya with a picture based on Mikhail Lacrba’s novel “The Guest”, and the festival was opened by the well-known Abkhaz film director Vyacheslav Ablotia. He said, in turn, that he was proud of the young Abkhaz directors who revive the national cinema.
The screening of thirty competitive short films is divided into six blocks of five films. The festival will also include a special screening of the documentary film “Women of the Gulag” by Marianna Yarovskaya, which has been shortlisted for Oscar this year.
The full-length comedy “Margarita’s Brotherhood”, directed by Artur Pinkhasov and written by Edward Topol was shown without competition at the opening of the film festival.
The SIFF-2019 Film Festival takes place in RUSDRAM (State Russian Drama Theater named after Fazil A. Iskander) from April 4 to 8. Films are shown at 17.00 and 20.00 daily. Free admission.
The SIFF Festival is held in Sukhum for the second time. The first Sukhum International Film Festival was held in Abkhazia on April 2-6, 2018. Then, 32 works by directors from Abkhazia, Western Europe, Russia, the CIS, as well as Morocco, Tunisia, South Korea, Iran, Uzbekistan, and Hungary took part in the competition.