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38 Years of the Molodist International Film Festival

38 Years of the Molodist International Film FestivalThe 38th Molodist International Film Festival: bigger and, perhaps, better than ever.

Not much else to report on this week in Kyiv other than film. October is kind of like Ukraine’s month for self-examination, for introspection and escape from the world given that the long, cold winter is quickly descending upon us. The escape that movies provide to Ukrainians is to them almost akin to the feeling obscenely rich Americans get in getting shot into near-earth orbit by the Russian space program for $20 million. The feeling is real; it’s tangible; it doesn’t really cost much other than time.

And that’s the thing: to take part in any portion of the Molodist Film Festival (www.molodist.com/en/), which runs from Oct. 8-16, you need time. And lots of it.

This year, the 38th installment of this venerable Eastern European festival, the organizers have packed even more into the coming 9 days than ever before: films about women in Ukraine; about the Prague Spring of 1968; experimental films with a nighttime theme; short films from England, France, Germany and Italy; films from Serbia; Ukrainian cinema of the last two years; animated shorts; films speaking out on totalitarianism (rather timely, I’d say); and literally dozens more.

To accommodate all the films, many new cinemas across the city have been employed, including the massive just completed Blockbuster megaplex near Petrovka, which also houses the city’s new IMAX cinema (that in itself is a story all its own). But established cinemas such as Kyiv, Kinopanorama, Zhovten and other standards will be part of the mix, though the Molodist festival website doesn’t have a full list of screenings yet – even in Ukrainian.

As for getting tickets, head to one of the four cinemas mentioned and be prepared to wait in long lines and order as far in advance as possible to secure any hope of seeing festival films. If you actually want to see a film at the Molodist festival and have already decided what you’d like to see, stop reading this, check out the addresses for the various cinemas on the Go2Kiev main page and get out there.

Other film festivals

In addition to thestoried Molodist festival, the Asia-Kino 2008 festival begins Oct. 9 and runs through Oct. 20 at Ukraina cinema (http://www.kino-ukraina.com.ua/news/?nid=791 – this page includes a list of festival film screenings on the left of the page). Largely stacked with films from Japanese directors, with one Korean exception – Kim Ki-duk – the festival will give moviegoers the chance to tap into the rather otherworldly nature of films from directors Hideo Nakata, Johnnie To, Takeshi Kitano and a few others.

Also, as mentioned above, the city finally has its own IMAX theater. Currently showing two programs, both in 3D (one on deep sea exploration and the other on the International Space Station), the IMAX theater is a hit with Kyivans so far, who packed each showing at the weekend, meaning mid-week is likely your best bet unless you have tickets in hand or a gopher standing in line to buy tickets for you. Future screenings look a treat, especially as one beginning in November will be a U2 concert presentation, also in 3D. Having seen U2 live and in concert some years ago, I can vouch for how amazing it is to see Bono, the Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton perform live in front of a throng of manic devotees. If you don’t get to see the space or deep sea adventures, save your energy for the U2 concert.


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