Molodist Kyiv international film festival
04 December 2022


The 51st Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival has ended in the capital of Ukraine. In Kyiv, viewers could watch 79 films from 37 countries spread across 14 competitive and non-competitive programs.

Despite Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the festival team decided to hold the 51st Molodist KIFF under new circumstances, having managed to preserve almost all the main programs of the KIFF: the full-length, short, and student sections of the International Competition, the National Competition, and the non-competition Ukrainian premieres, the Festival of Festivals, the LGBTQI+ program Sunny Bunny, Midnight Special, 4MA: FORMA, Scandinavian Panorama, and 100: Century. The competition days were from the December 1st until the 3rd and the audience days from the 4th until the 7th.

The Awards Ceremony of the 51st Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival was held on December 3 at the Zhovten Cinema. The Jury announced the best films of the International Competition — and the guests of the Ceremony watched trailers of the winners. The Ceremony hosts were TV presenters of 1+1 Channel Yehor Hordeev and Natalia Ostrovska.

The International Jury was led by the director of Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek from Germany, who was joined by the head of the Ukrainian Institute, Volodymyr Sheiko, Ukrainian producer Oleksii Terentiev and the curator of the Toronto Film Festival, the USA’s Dorota Lech. They judged three competition sections: student, short and full-length films.

The Grand Prix of the 51st Molodist KIFF was won by the Ukrainian film Pamfir, directed by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk. The film is about a former smuggler who returns to his native village shortly before the celebration of Malanka (a Ukrainian folk holiday celebrated on January 13, which is New Year's Eve per the Julian calendar). He is forced to get involved in his illegal business once again by several coincidences.


The best full-length film in the International Competition was deemed to be Joyland by Pakistani director Saim Sadiq. Its hero is a dancer raised in a conservative family, who enters the queer community and rethinks his own sensuality and sexuality.


The best short film of the International Competition is All the Crows in the World by Hong Kong director Yi Tang. It is a story about a whimsical party where the young main character finds herself in the company of older men. They allow themselves vulgar jokes and behave arrogantly, but one man also does not fit into this strange society.


The best student film of the International Competition is Love, Dad by the Czech director Diana Cam Van Nguyen. It is a hybrid documentary work with letters from her imprisoned father, which Diana found later and decided on their basis to relive the experience of communication that she lacked artistically.


Three more films received Special Mentions from the International Jury. In the short section, it is Alma and Paz by the Mexican director Cris Gris. In the full-length section, they are The Cage and the Dream by the Brazilian director Valerio Fonseca and The Small Body by the Italian director Laura Samani.

Furthermore, the Artistic Director of the Molodist, Andriy Khalpakhchi, handed the head of the Jury of the International Competition, Mariette Rissenbeek, an Award for her Contribution to the Development of Cinematography. Rissenbeek, the executive director of the Berlin International Film Festival, previously worked as the executive director of the German state-owned company German Films, which promotes the country’s cinema abroad. 

Andriy Khalpahchi also announced the dates of the 52nd Molodist KIFF: the festival will take place on October 21–28, 2023.

We remind you that at the Opening Ceremony, awards were presented to the winners of the National Competition, which took place at the Hamburg Film Festival. The short film Dima, Dmitriy, Dmytro. Glory to the Heroes directed by Clemens Poole had a Special Mention from the International Jury (Eva Neymann from Ukraine, Farzad Pak from Iran, and Fritzi Haberlandt from Germany).

The best short film of the National Competition is Leopolis Night by Nikon Romanchenko. His film is a reminiscence of one night in Lviv, divided between an actress from a local theater and a guy whose role played the director himself.


The best full-length film in the National Competition was Stop-Zemlia by Kateryna Gornostai, a hybrid drama about the life of Kyiv teenagers, featuring characters that endure all the things characteristic of their age: friendships undermined by their upcoming graduation from school, tense conversations with parents, preparations for exams and, of course, the awkwardness of first love.


For her victory in the National Competition, Kateryna Gornostai received a 100 thousand hryvnia award from a long-time partner of the Molodist — the operator of state lotteries MSL. Mykyta Bondarev, the advisor to the company's general director for strategic communications, commented on the support for the festival in one of the most challenging years in the history of independent Ukraine: «Art, including cinema, is always about expression. The Russians are trying to deprive us of this right as well. They have been trying for hundreds of years to make the whole world and us believe that we have nothing to say to the world. Therefore, supporting the festival, which has long been one of the country's most powerful cultural brands, is no less important than helping the army. Because our right to our own identity is being fought for at the frontline».

After the Award Ceremony, the guests watched the Grand Prix-winning film Pamfir. On December 7, the last day of the festival, the audience had the opportunity to watch the winning films of all sections of the International Competition, the winner of the short section of the National Competition, as well as the short films of the International and National Competitions, which were awarded Special Mentions by the Juries of both competition programs.




The 51st Molodist Film Festival was held with the support of the Office of the President of Ukraine, and with funding from the Stabilization Fund for Culture and Education, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany and the Goethe-Institut.

The visual identity for the wartime festival was developed by Hexagon digital agency and designer Masha Dmitrowa.



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