As a gesture of support and solidarity, Prishtina International Film Festival (PriFest) will host Odesa International Film Festival (OIFF) in Prishtina, Kosovo, this year to hold a joint 14th edition of PriFest and 13th edition of OIFF.
Under the motto ‘Odesa IFF beyond borders: Odesa at PriFest’, Prishtina International Film Festival will provide the space to have a part of the program of OIFF in Prishtina during this year’s edition of PriFest.
The two festivals have always shared the same time slot in July and often shared international guests who would go from one festival directly to the other. This year both festivals were scheduled to be held in the last week of July, however OIFF had to cancel the edition because of the war.
PriFest management contacted OIFF management and agreed that the festival can be accommodated in Prishtina with some of its programs and guests.
“We are really concerned and saddened seeing what is going on in Ukraine right now. We survived war 20 years ago, so we really feel for Ukraine and its people. Culture and arts suffer equally in these situations and seeing the people of Ukraine, how brave they are in resisting and fighting back, we felt we needed to do something for our colleagues. So, we contacted our friends from Odesa Int. Film Festival and explained our idea. And we are very proud to announce that we will have a special program of films by young Ukrainian filmmakers featured at PriFest as an Odesa IFF program. Also, 10 Ukrainian feature film projects will take part in PriForum for the pitching session and then at Prishtina Rendezvous to meet sales, producers and festival selectors. We are aiming to enable the Ukrainian filmmakers and the management of OIFF to be present in Prishtina. I hope everything will be ok by then and they can come.” – said Vjosa Berisha, General Director of PriFest.
“Russia's cynical and unjust invasion of Ukraine had a direct impact on every Ukrainian and on all branches and industries that develop in the country. We have been deprived of the opportunity to hold the 13th Odesa International Film Festival in the format that our guests and viewers love so much. But we are very grateful to our colleagues in Kosovo - Prishtina International Film Festival (PriFest) - for the opportunity to have OIFF beyond borders at PriFest and show Ukrainian film projects to foreign audiences. In recent years, Ukrainian cinema has constantly grown, strengthened, and won fans around the world. We cannot stop now, and we must tell the history of Ukrainian culture to the whole world. I am sure that very interesting, original, and unique projects about Ukraine and its distinctive culture will be waiting for us at Pitching,” - said Anna Machukh, General Director of OIFF.
This initiative is being implemented with the support of the City of Prishtina. The Mayor of Prishtina, Përparim Rama, gave the following statement: “It is a great occasion, given the situation with the war in Ukraine, that this year Odesa International Film Festival will hold its 13th edition here in Prishtina, in partnership with PriFest, the most successful film festival in our capital. The city of Prishtina will support this wonderful step of cooperation between the two festivals. This is an opportunity to express solidarity with Ukraine and support its fight for a basic right – freedom.”
PriFest is preparing to have several guests from Ukraine to present their films, as well as to take part in the pitch and present their film projects.
The 14th edition of PriFest is happening from 26-31 July.
PriFest. Friendship. Forever.
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