The winners of the International Ethnographic Film Festival OKO were announced 2021

The film festival took place on September 11-18 - online and on September 16, 17, 18 - offline in the south of Ukraine in Bessarabia in the town of Bolhrad, which celebrated its 200th anniversary this year.

The festival, supported by Ukrainian State Film Agency, received more than 500 applications from 73 countries and covered all continents of our planet this year. The program of the film festival was divided into international and national full-length and short film competitions. 34 films were presented in the international competition program: 8 full-length and 26 short films. The national competition of full meters included 10 films, the short program – 7 films.

The program of the screenings was created in the format of a trip: every day the audience went on a movie trip to a certain region of the world, and at the end of the day returned home to see the pictures of national production. In total, the viewers have watched 60 films and traveled to 42 countries.

In addition, this year “OKO” presented a new, non-competitive section with feature and documentary films on ethnography, anthropology, culture, as well as a retrospective “Africa in Focus”, which included the best works from the African continent from last year’s edition of the festival.

Three screens were working for three days at three locations in the center of Bolhrad. A big part of the audience consisted of schoolchildren from the nearest schools. After watching the films, they discussed them and gave their votes to the pictures they thought are worth getting the audience award.

Discussion panels were held every day on the central square raised such important topics as “Tradition and Cinema”, “Tradition and Politics”, “Tradition and Discrimination”.

Guests and directors from other cities of Ukraine, Bulgaria, France and Syria also came to Bolhrad to present their films.

The esteemed and representative jury consisting of famous film critics, directors and folklorists –Volodymyr Voitenko (chairman of the jury, film critic), Andriy Rizol (film director, producer), Vasil Barkov (director, Bulgaria), Oleksandr Gusev (film critic), Yuliia Kovalenko (film critic, programmer at Docudays UA), Maxim Rudenko (film director, the winner of the first edition of “OKO” IEFF), Olena Ivanovska (professor of the Department of Folklore Studies at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv) – had to choose the best among all the variety of films.

Therefore, the winner in the category of Ukrainian full-length film became the film “The Building” directed by Tatjana Kononenko and Matilda Mester, which received a diploma and a cash prize of 25,000 UAH.

The Building

Director: Tatjana Kononenko, Matilda Mester
Country: Ukraine, Germany

In the International full-length program, the winner became the Mexican film “Yo'eme Labyrinth” by Sergi Pedro Ros, who also had received the diploma and 25,000 UAH.

Yo'eme Labyrinth

Director: Sergi Pedro Ros
Country: Mexico

In the same category, the Belgian film “The Village Resists” directed by David Bert Joris Dhert, was presented a diploma “For the Strength of Spirit and Strive for Freedom”.

The Village Resists

Director: David Bert Joris Dhert
Country: Belgium (about Brazil)

In the International short program, the jury decided to give the award of the winner and the prize of 13,000 UAH to the film “Arho – The Afar Salt Trade of Northeastern Ethiopia” by German director Till J F Trojer.

Arho – The Afar Salt Trade of Northeastern Ethiopia

Director: Till J F Trojer
Country: Germany (about Ethiopia) 

In the same category, Solomon Mekonen’s Ethiopian film “Emails to My Little Sister” received the diploma “For a special look at the civilized dialogue of cultures”.

Emails to My Little Sister

Director: Solomon Mekonen
Country: Ethiopia 

In the Ukrainian short film program, the first place and a cash prize of 13,000 UAH got the film “Dirty Waters of the Danube” directed by Vsevolod Ananiev.

Dirty waters of the Danube

Director: Vsevolod Ananiev
Country: Ukraine

Muddy waters of the Danube.jpg

And the film “Olha's Italian Diary” directed by Olena Fediuk became a diploma winner of feature films in the section “For a life-affirming portrait of a Ukrainian woman in the world”.

Olha’s Italian Diary

Director: Olena Fediuk
Country: Ukraine

Olhas Italian Diary-poster.jpg

The Audience Award from the Bolhrad City Council went to the film from the full-length national program called “Weaving Way” directed by Lesia Voroniuk. The second and the third place went to the films “Mustache Funk” directed by Alexander Kovsh and “Above the Ground” by Syrian director Somar Afif Agha.

Weaving Way

Director: Lesia Voroniuk
Country: Ukraine

Ткацький шлях.jpg

Moustache Funk

Director: Oleksandr Kovsh
Country: Ukraine

Above ground

Director: Somar Afif Agha
Countries: Ukraine, Syria