the festival

Over the course of half a century 'Molodist' developed from the local, purely professional review of student films of the newly opened Faculty of Cinematography at the Karpenko-Kary University to a major international event that discovers world-class directors.

Initially, Molodist interested a very narrow circle of professional viewers.

Nowadays, 'Molodist' is the only international film festival in Ukraine with FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association) accreditation.
The foundation of a festival

Vadim Chubasov and Viktor Ivchenko organized a first screening of works by students of Kyiv theatrical institute. It lasted for 2 days and presented 33 films. It was the beginning of 'Molodist' film festival

Festival' first years

in the mid-1970s, Molodist began traveling around the cities of Ukraine (Pavlograd, Kryvyi Rih) and engaged in its program works of students from other Soviet republics. The results of the expansion are evidenced by the names of the winners of the festival in the 1970s: Volodymyr Bortko, Alla Surykova, Vadym Abdrashytov, Mykhailo Illienko.

Вorder-breaking perestroika

At the time of perestroika, Molodist was finally entering the international arena. The festival began to screen the films of debutants from countries outside the USSR (even if it was only Poland and the German Democratic Republic) and foreign students of the Karpenko-Kary University.

The festival is changing. It is said that theater lives for 10 years – during its golden age – afterward something new that needs to be done, otherwise the theater dies. 'Molodist' film festival turns 50 and it's very much alive, but nevertheless the new times require new forms, new ideas, new team.
Andriy Khalpakhchi
Art Director of 'Molodist' Kyiv International Film Festival

In the meantime, the Union of Young Cinematographers of Ukraine (UYCU) was formed at the Filmmakers Union of Ukraine. It would organize the festival in times of transition, which were difficult no doubt. In 1991, it was impossible to award cash prizes, and the following year, 1992, the festival did not take place. However, thanks to the efforts of the UYCU, a movie directory was published for each Molodist, which has already become a tradition (this practice began in 1989). In addition, in 1993, following a difficult beginning of the decade, the festival was officially registered as international in the International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

The 1990s for Molodist was a period of a new team that discovered new world-class filmmakers. It was in the early 1990s that Andriy Yakovych Khalpakhchi, the current artistic director of the festival, joined the festival. As for the new directors, it is worth mentioning a few names of filmmakers who made their debut in Kyiv: Tom Tykwer, Francois Ozon, Bruno Dumont, Danny Boyle, Lucas Mudisson, Ildiko Enyedi, Jacques Audiard.

40th jubilee festival

In 2010, the 40th jubilee festival opens in Kyiv. Viewers watched almost three hundred films a week, participated in master classes and met with famous directors and actors. For the first time in the program of the festival films that won during the history of the event were also presented.

The opening ceremony took place at the The Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian National Opera House with world-class guests - Christopher Lambert, Sophie Marceau, Gerard Depardieu, Fanny Ardan, Renata Litvinova, Vladimir Menshov, Lyudmila Gurchenko, Karen Shakhnazarov.

Nowadays the festival is 50 years old and its goal remains unchanged – to uncover important trends of young cinema development and to help aspiring beginner filmmakers find their way on the world cinema map.
Non - competition program Visegrad cinema
New films from countries of Visegrád Group – Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia

Visegrád Cinema Days is the week of screenings of modern films from around the Visegrád Group region – the alliance of the four Central European states: Poland, Czechia, Hungary, and Slovakia.

Competition program International Competition
Debut films by emerging directors from all over the world.

The international competition presents both feature-length films and short films.

Competition program Sunny Bunny Competition
Festival films representing the LGBT community to a wide audience of Ukrainian viewers encouraging social dialogue.

‘Sunny Bunny’ program was established in 2001 and is now the biggest and most prominent LGBT-themed cultural event in the country.

Competition program National Competition
Short films by Ukrainian directors, produced or co-produced in Ukraine.

The competition has its own jury and prize. It is a great launchpad for aspiring Ukrainian filmmakers. Fiction, documentary and animated short films are accepted into the competition.

Competition program Molodist Teen Screen
Competition program for the new generation judged by our youngest jury.

An attempt to speak with younger generation in cinematic language and to understand their way of thinking. The program is designed for kids & teens aged 10-14.

Non - competition program Maitres
A special program that doesn’t have a division into shorts and feature films.

Presenting short films that were shot by ‘maitres’ of the cinema that are no less inferior to various full features.


Non - competition program Opening Film
Long-awaited reunion!

49th 'Molodist' is here! The festival opens with Daria Onyshchenko film 'The Forgotten'.

Non - competition program Festival of festivals
Major films and festival hits are brought to Kyiv in a snap of fingers.

A traditional festival program that has been attracting the attention of audiences and media for over a decade. It includes participants of the official selections and prize winners of the major film festivals of the world – Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, etc. 

Non - competition program Special Events
Free space for a creative dialogue.

A sequence of unusual film events that go beyond the formal framework of the traditional festival programming. 

Non - competition program Sunny Bunny Non-Competition
Festival films representing the LGBT community to a wide audience of Ukrainian viewers encouraging social dialogue.

‘Sunny Bunny’ program was established in 2001 and is now the biggest and most prominent LGBT-themed cultural event in the country.

Non - competition program Ukrainian premieres
A new breath in the world of Ukrainian cinema.

National and world premieres of feature films made in Ukraine or with Ukrainian coproduction.

Non - competition program Country Focus
The program of the 49th KIFF "Molodist" presents the Swiss Accent section.

Each year, we present a new country with its scope filmmaking talent, either through retrospectives (2014's Hungary, 2015 Slovakia, 2016's Lithuania) or showcases of brand new films (2018's Italy, 2019's Canada). 

Non - competition program Scandinavian Panorama
Where nature fulfils its will, but people rejoice and suffer just as they do all around the world.

A non-competition program of the 49th KIFF Molodist, introducing the Ukrainian audience to the most prominent representatives of European cinema. Directors from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland deliver stories from all corners of the Scandinavian countries.

Non - competition program Midnight special
Films that wake you up and open your mind.

A dreamlike program follows the tradition of late screenings. Here at night unconventional genre films have a special flair.

Non - competition program Forma
Dive into the unconsciousness to surface in a different dimension.

Introduced in 2018, Forma showcases unique experimental and challenging films that prove cinema has yet long to live.

Non - competition program Retrospective program "Century"
Ahead of its time cinema comes back for Molodist screen.

Initiated at the 39th Molodist KIFF, this program is dedicated to centennials of renowned masters of cinema.

Non - competition program Valie Export
This program is dedicated to Valie Export who is considered one of the most important and influential artists to combine multimedia works and theory with a feminist approach.

In 1967 she chose a pseudonym to symbolically distance herself from the identity and role assigned her as a female artist working in a male-dominated society.

Today, her works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Kunstmuseum Winterhtur in Switzerland, and the Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris, among others.

Non - competition program The Mirages of Freedom. Ukrainian Experimental Cinema of the 1960s–1980s
The program partially reveals each of these vectors of the search for freedom in cinema in the second half of the 20th century. Student films include pieces created by the future icons of Ukrainian cinema, Leonid Osyka and Roman Balayan.

The program presents animated works of Kyivnaukfilm studio made in the 1980s, which are marked by absurdity and irony.

Ranging from documentary chronicles of family life to parody comedies, these “ephemeral films” expressed both the life in the 1970s and 1980s and the tragedy of late Soviet informal art.

Non - competition program Molodist. Short Insight
Selection of remarkable short films that aren't compatible with the competition program regulations, however, it would be a crime simply not to screen them.

"Short Insight" will not just bring you to the world of animation, experimentation and documentary, but will also introduce you to the worldwide trends of contemporary filmmaking.

Most of the displayed pictures became the audience's favorites, and quite a few of them brought home various awards. One thing is clear, they all are unique and unmatchable in their own way.

Non - competition program Molodist. Back to School
"Back to school" program presents a collection of the best films from Film schools all around the world.

Цього року до програми увійшли Національний Університет Театру та Кіно “І. Л. Караджале” у Бухаресті (UNATC) та Вищий національний інститут виконавських видів мистецтва і техніки мовлення (INSAS).

This year the program includes National University of Theatre and Film "I.L. Caragiale" Bucharest (UNTAC) and Institut national supérieur des arts du spectacle et des techniques de diffusion (INSAS).

Non - competition program The Second Front. Stories of LGBT Soldiers
These faces are not alienated from the people; they take an active part in the creation of the modern history of the country, defending the civilian population and aiding the frontlines.

In this series of films, we not only show openly LGBT soldiers, but also narrate a story for each letter of this abbreviation: an open lesbian, an open gay, an open bisexual, and an open transgender whose fate has intertwined with war and combined with the fate and pain of the entire country.

Non - competition program Watch Ukrainian
This program is dedicated to Ukrainian shorts that weren't selected for the main program.

“Watch Ukrainian” is a collection of motion pictures, selected for "Watch Ukrainian - create your future" project, which sets to promote national cinema and is made with the nuanced audience in heart.

Non - competition program Closing Film
The finale of 'Molodist' 49!

The closing film of 'Molodist' 49 is a top-notch feature documentary film by Iryna Tsilyk «The Earth as blue as an Orange». It's about bright moments in the darkest of times, at times of war.



Competition program Documentary competition
The new full-length competitive documentary film program, within which directors present their debut works. The program was launched to mark the 50th anniversary of the "Molodist" festival.

The new full-length competitive documentary film program, within which directors present their debut works. The program was launched to mark the 50th anniversary of the "Molodist" festival.


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