< The 7th ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN has held its award ceremony.>

The four-day event was attended by 3,600+ people and culminated in the award ceremony held on November 5 on the stage of the Arkhangelsk Puppet Theater.

This year’s official selection featured 15 short films and 4 feature-length films from seven countries (Russia, China, Peru, Denmark, Turkey, Iran, and Italy). Shown as part of the non-competition program were the VR sessions The Underwater World of the Beluga Whales and the retrospective of the animated musicals by Soyuzmultfilm’s Inessa Kovalevskaya, the latter dedicated to the legendary animation director’s 90th birthday. Inessa Kovalevskaya is known for the cartoons that inspired several generations and among them the all-time favourites Chuchelo-Myauchelo, The Bremen Town Musicians, and The Boat.

The 7th ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN used as its concept the Port City Stories theme. Using the magic of cinema, it took its viewers to multiple marine and oceanic berths. In tune with the theme was also the performance by the children’s musical theater “Wonderland” delivered brilliantly to the music from the cartoon In The Port.  

This year’s jury was chaired by Tatiana Kiseleva, animation director and producer at Soyuzmultfilm, who is known as the author of the newly released Umka. Other members included film director, screenwriter and producer Alexander Kott, stage and film actor, musician and composer Ivan Solovyov, and Pinega-born poetess Varvara Zabortseva.

This has been the second time ARCTIC OPEN IFF timed its selection of children’s films to the fall break for the kids to be able to see more independent films and meet their makers and cast.

Closing the festival was the Italian film Four Seasons. It shows 140 children use body percussion to imitate the sounds of fours seasons—autumn rain, winter wind, springtime birdsong, and cicada chirp as the sound of summer.

Four Seasons’s director Michele Villetti greeted the audience in his video message: “I went online to find out what the city of Arkhangelsk looks like, and it’s beautiful. This is very inspiring to know there are beautiful places out there with amazing people who organize film festivals.”

This year, ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN had more categories.

Best Children’s Feature Film Award went to the new-generation Caucasian film Aul Challenge (6+) by Islam Satyrov. Screened in Konosha, Arkhangelsk, and Novodvinsk, the film was presented by its producer Denis Lafanov and lead actor Amir Kumratov who played urban teenager Timur.

“For those who never heard of the small, though once powerful and numerous, people of Nogai, Aul Challenge was a great opportunity to learn it exists. The shootings took place in a small aul inhabited by truly kind people. They would bring to the set pies, big and small, and Kalmyk tea to refresh us because they thought we were tired after lengthy shootings and wanted to be helpful,” says lead actor’s mother Maya Kumratova.

Best Children’s Short Award went to Daria Razumnikova’s documentary tale The King of Cormorants (12+), produced by the Regional Cinema Support Fund and presented at ARCTIC OPEN by aviculturist and environmentalist Maria Mokridina and her little son Andrey. Andrey was two and a half when the film was made. Editing director Elena Galyanina joined post-screening discussions and had the honour to receive the award.

Best Child Actors Award went to young actors of Anton Bogdanov’s Ivan Semenov: The Big Adventure (6+). As last year, the sequel about the trouble maker Alik Semenov was presented by lead actor Kostya Kostin.

Special Jury Mention went to Eldor Shodmonkulov’s debut short film Farewell Letter (0+) (Uzbekistan-Russia). The director was awarded also with a trip to the Golubino tourist facility in Pinega District and said he was considering Arkhangelsk as a location for his next film.

The Special Prize “For Accuracy of Comprehension and Clarity of Rendering” went to Irina Obidova’s 1000 Cheap Lighters (18+). The film featured in ARCTIC OPEN’s special program Parent Chat and had attracted many local teachers, parents, social workers, and psychologists for the post-screening discussion. The drama 1000 Cheap Lighters follows the kids of a vocational schools who struggle for the title of the ‘greatest fire starter’ and reflects on teenage identify crisis. Presenting the film to viewers was its director and one of the lead actors Nikita Plakhotnyuk.

One more special jury prize – “For Return of the Sea” – was awarded to Ali Tehranipour’s The Fish (Iran).

The Audience Choice Awards went to Song Jieying’s Serious and Lively” (China); Sofya Fadeeva, lead actress in Yana Nezdvedskaya’ underwater ballet Sleeping Beauty (Russia); and Olga Golovina’s Parents’ House (Russia). The latter was represented at the Arctic Open by Larisa Odoeva of the film school TheOneFilm.

“I’m grateful and thank ARCTIC OPEN Film Festival for this honour. I hope to meet you again next year in Arkhangelsk with more film stories for you to learn more about China,” said Song Jieying.

ARCTIC OPEN IFF will continue in December. Its official selection of 58 films from 17 countries will be screened on December 7-10 in Arkhangelsk, Severodvinsk, Novodvinsk, Nyandoma, and Severoonezhsk. To see full schedule please visit: https://arctic-open.com/en/programs2023/

Free tickets will be available for booking in November on ARCTIC OPEN’s official website and social network pages. The organizers will be delighting residents and guests with special opening performance, presentation of the series Of Pomor Descent, Arctic Heat Laboratory, Arctic 2062 business events program, multiple post-screening discussions, premieres, and meet-the-artist sessions.

ARCTIC OPEN KinoPort is run by the Bereginya Pomor Culture Foundation with the support from the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives, Arkhangelsk Governor’s Center, Arkhangelsk Ministry of Culture, and Russian Filmmakers Association Office for Arkhangelsk.

The 7th ARCTIC OPEN IFF is also supported by the Russian Ministry of Culture and is co-organized by Northern (Arctic) Federal University.

The 7th ARCTIC OPEN IFF would like to thank its partners, sponsors and all who continue and support us.



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