The winners of the international and national competitions at the Mykolaichuk OPEN Festival of Audience Film were announced during a special ceremony held at the Ivan Mykolaychuk Cultural and Art Center. The festival, now in its 45th year, took place was held from June 15 to 20 in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, and showcased a diverse range of films from various countries.
The festival introduced a new official award named “Iron Mykolaychuk,” inspired by the iconic Ukrainian film artist Ivan Mykolaychuk. The award was designed by artists Dmytro Shiyanov and Yevhen Sopko from Hisoshi Art Studio. The award ceremony, held at the main venue, honored filmmakers who demonstrated exceptional talent and creativity.
Audience Voting Determines Winners
The winners of the festival were chosen by the audience through a voting process. The votes were meticulously counted by the accounting agency “Assistant” and the results were determined based on the percentage of votes received from each screening.
The international competition featured eight films from various countries, including Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Israel, Italy, and France. The film that captured the hearts of the audience and won the first international competition in the festival’s history was “Who Are You, Filip,” directed by Michał Kwieczynski from Poland. The film about the Holocaust received the prestigious Iron Mykolaychuk award and a cash prize of $1000.
National Competition Celebrates Ukrainian Filmmaking
The national competition focused on Ukrainian or co-produced short films. The top honor went to the documentary “Chornobyl 22,” directed by Oleksiy Radynsky. The film delved into the aftermath of the Chornobyl disaster, showcasing the resilience and strength of the Ukrainian people. Radynsky received the Iron Mykolaychuk award and a cash prize of $500, expressing gratitude for the recognition from the audience.
A special award, the Iron Mikolajczyk statuette, was presented to the film “My Neighbor Adolf,” directed by Leon Prudovsky, which secured second place in the audience vote. The film, a collaborative effort between Israel, Poland, and Colombia, resonated with viewers and showcased the importance of cultural exchange.
Additionally, the South Swedish Film Commission provided a grant to the team behind the film “Anniversary,” directed by Anna Goncharova from Ukraine. The grant includes a two-day trip to Southern Sweden, offering opportunities to connect with the regional film industry and forge potential partnerships.
Charity Auction and Community Support
The festival organized a charity auction, facilitated by the Ukrainian Art Foundation, to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Generous donations from participants and attendees, including signed plaques and merchandise, raised a total of UAH 172,510 ($6,479). The funds will be used to purchase a drone for actor Ruslan Koval’s unit, who has been actively defending the country.
The Mykolaichuk OPEN Festival of Audience Film showcased exceptional films by recognized talented filmmakerse. The festival’s success highlights the thriving film industry in Ukraine and celebrates the power of cultural exchange on a global scale.