Form Marie-Elaine Riou, Festival Direction.

It is with great enthusiasm that I’ve accepted the invitation of Kyrylo Marikutsa to take part of the festival he founded 6 years ago and take a flight to Kyiv barely a month after the end of REGARD – Saguenay International Short Film Festival, to discover new films and meet the Ukrainian crowd as well as several future colleagues. Among them, my two charming fellow juries for the national competition of the Kyiv International Short Film Festival, Vassilis Economou, film critic for Cineuropa, and Iris Blauensteiner, Austrian screenwriter and director.


Event meeting place: Festival Center – “Ukraine” Cinema (Arkhitektora Horodetskoho St, 5), my new “HQ” for the week. There, I receive my accreditation adorned with a modest crown sticker together with information documents which I put in my bag, and head straight to the cinema to enjoy the Festival’s first screenings.


On Wednesday, after the welcome lunch, I’m due at the KISFF Pro, where I join Carla from the Vienna Shorts, Jukke-Pekke from the Tampere Intl Film Festival, and Krzysztof from the Zubroffka Intl Short Film Festival, for the Meet a Festival panel. Everyone at the stimulating panel for young local filmmakers was engaging in discussions about the finest job in the world, which is, of course, organizing a festival.


Thanks to the generous help of the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine, KISFF could invite three Canadian guests. So together with two exceptional Quebec filmmakers, Sophie Goyette and Hervé Demers, I walked the city’s hills which overlook stunning contrasts, from cathedrals to catacombs, through endless subway escalators, and cozy cellar bars to finish our evenings!


Finally, on the last day of the festival, I had the honour of presenting a screening of Quebec films selected by KISFF’s team programming, which the director happened to be in Saguenay during the REGARD Festival last March. The presentation, called Quebec is back, attracted close to a hundred viewers, mostly university student film enthusiasts. It was a golden opportunity to exchange with these festival-goers interested in the short films from Quebec presented some weeks ago in Saguenay, at the last edition of the REGARD Festival.


MUTANTS by Alexandre Dostie
ANIME by Arnaud Brisebois
TWO DOLLARS by Emmanuel Tenenbaum
THE SUGARING OFF by Alexandre Isabelle
MON DERNIER ÉTÉ by Paul-Claude Demers
NUTAG-HOMELANG by Alisi Telengut
THE SALESMAN by Benjamin Steiger Levine
FOURRER LE FEU by Farid Kassouf
PLAN AND SIMPLE by Raphaël Ouellet


It is clear that the film program reached its target audience and raised interesting reactions. The fans shared a few comments with me during the question period that followed the screening. Among other things, they mentioned the significant presence of young actors in the films as well as their emotionally charged dialogues. The event was screened on April 23rd , just before the Festival’s closing ceremony. Now that’s what saving the best for last is!

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