On August 31st, 2018, the curtain came down on the eighth edition of the On the Edge International Film Festival.
The following members of the festival jury:
Tahmineh Milani – director, Iran
Aleksey German Jr. – director, Russia
Alexei Popogrebsky – director, Russia
Jungmi Oh – screenwriter, South Korea
Maria Shukshina – actress, Russia
have announced their awards:
Best Film: The Charmer (dir. Milad Alami)
Best Director: Alexei Fedorchenko (for Anna’s War)
Best Actor: Kuandyk Dyussembaev (for Gentle Indifference of the World)
Best Actress: Nata Murvanidze (for Scary Mother)
Jury Prize: The Load, for “A seldom-heard story inventively told” (dir. Ognjen Glavonić)
Sergei Nadsadin, Mayor of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, gave his personal award to Sakhalin as First Love directed by Natalia Titaeva.
One of the festival’s most coveted prizes, The Audience Award, went to Avdotya Smirnova’s The Story of an Appointment.
Held in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk August 24th-31st, On the Edge featured over 120 titles that played at four main venues. The audiences haven’t been tallied yet, but the festival’s Director of Programming, Aleksey Medvedev, claims attendance has increased considerably since last year’s edition.
Alexei Medvedev, Program Director: “With each passing year, the festival gains about 20%. We don’t expand radically–we’re just growing. The sidebars grow in number and diversity. As we try hard to expand our geographical scope, this year we selected entries from Africa, Latin America, India, and other centers of the world we live in. There’s also been a noticeable uptick in attendance, and all the evening shows sold out. I personally believe that 100 people at an early-morning, midweek documentary screening is quite the vote of confidence.”
Among the festival’s highlights was The Pitching Session open to all residents of the region and its registered companies. Out-of-towners were stipulated to display “a meaningful connection to Sakhalin” or shoot at least 80% of their project on site. In the end, 28 submissions were evaluated by a committee of film experts that comprised director Boris Khlebnikov, producers Igor Tolstunov and Sabina Yeremeeva, Sony Pictures Productions CEO Anton Sirenko, and Ilya Shamazov, Head of the European/Asian Workshop at Film Leisure Company.
After the first round held at the Anton Chekhov Book Museum on August 26th, the experts selected 11 projects whose authors were consulted individually. The following winners were voted on in the second round:
- “Why You? Why Me?” dir. Daria Agienko
- “Running on the Edge” dir. Sergei Asaulenko
- “A Slant” dir. Aleksandr Zarchikov
- “Vasya Speaks English” dir. Maria Rashova
- “A Volcano and a Fish” dir. Kim Soo-Yeon
- “On the Magnificent Rain” dir. Elena Namakonova
All the winners have received the committee’s endorsements to apply for funding from the local government
Also included in the festival’s lineup were four workshops, two well-established (the Islands Children’s Animation Workshop and KinoLab aimed at teenagers), two inaugural (the Success! Workshop for producers and the 24/7 Design Workshop).
Alexei Agranovich, Director of On the Edge: “The festival’s turnout is the best indication of just how meaningfully and productively we engage in dialogue with the local viewership. It’s important that we measure our growth not only in the numbers of movies and viewers but also in the amount of young local talent drawn to our workshops. We hope On the Edge will have its “little brother” next year, tentatively called Shadow Play – a festival masterminded by Sakhalin-based high-schoolers who have graduated from our workshops.”
Another planned expansion is geographical as in spring 2019 the first edition of On the Edge. West will be unveiled in Kaliningrad.