The Stronghold Receives Grandprix at Children KinoFest 2018
4 June 2018
In Ukraine, the fifth-anniversary film festival for children and teenagers Children KinoFest has just ended. The screenings were free of charge and visited by over 42 thousand viewers in 22 cities of the country.
For the first time in the history of the festival, the Grand Prix according to audience voting was given to a Ukrainian film, The Stronghold fantasy feature directed by Yuriy Kovalyov. In the national competition of films made by children, the winner was A Duck Named Babilina, an animation strip made by Nadia Babanina from Dnipro.
On June 3 at the closing ceremony of the festival in Kyivska Rus cinema, winners of the international competition were announced. A favorite of the audience jury, The Stronghold, is about a schoolboy who found himself in the times of Kyiv Rus; it got 4.8 points out of 5. The second place was given to a British film Earth: One Amazing Day with 4.7 points; on June 7 it will be released in Ukrainian cinemas. The third place was awarded to a film co-produced by France and Belgium, The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales; it received 4.6 points and will also be released in Ukraine on July 5. The winner was traditionally determined through direct audience voting; at the entrance to the cinema, each viewer received a ballot to evaluate a film he/she has just seen.
At the closing of Children KinoFest 2018, the Grand Prix winner of the previous year was screened, a British fantasy feature Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism.
For the second time, the festival held a competition of short films made by children aged 7 to 14. The organizers received more than 150 applications from all over Ukraine and chose ten finalists: their works were screened on June 2 in all cities the festival took place. The young directors were invited to Kyiv where they presented their films on the big screen of Kyivska Rus cinema. The winner was determined by a professional jury consisting of Yuriy Kovalyov, the winner of this year’s Children KinoFest, director and screenwriter Marysya Nikityuk, and actress Darya Plakhtiy. At the closing ceremony, the winner was awarded: the title of the Best Ukrainian Children’s Film of the Year and the monetary award in the amount of 20,000 UAH from the competition’s general partner OTP bank were given to 12-year-old Nadia Babanina from Dnipro, author of A Duck Named Babilina.
Besides, this year the children’s competition handed out an audience award for the first time; it went to Virus A, a film by 14-year-old Oleksiy Pyvoshenko from Avdiyivka, which received the most votes.
In 2018, Children KinoFest took place from May 25 until June 3 in 22 Ukrainian cities. A portion of tickets to the screenings was provided to young viewers from socially vulnerable groups: children with special needs, orphans, and victims of the conflict in the east of Ukraine. Seven European films participated in the international competition. The out-of-competition program featured The Treasure Island, a Ukrainian animated strip celebrating the 30th anniversary of its premiere this year. The festival ambassador was Ukrainian writer, lawyer, human rights defender, radio show host, and UN goodwill ambassador Larysa Denysenko. In 2019, Children KinoFest will take place from May 31 until June 9.
Children KinoFest, an annual film festival for children and teenagers, takes place with the support of EU Delegation in Ukraine, UNICEF, Ukrainian State Film Agency, Institut Français d’Ukraine, British Council Ukraine, Goethe-Institut in Ukraine, and Embassy of Hungary in Ukraine.