Amazing! Amazing! Is all I can say, or as the Russians would say, Удивительно! Удивительно! What a truly amazing show the Orlando International Peace Film & Festival was. From the beautiful display of costumes and amazing performances, all I can say is I had an amazing time. As well, can we all give a big thanks to the man in charge, the Director and Founder of Orlando’s International Peace & Film Festival Jef Gray. *Applause! Applause*
Mr. Gray did an amazing job this year bringing together cultures from all around the world, and turning Orlando for a couple of days into a complete international party. Thank you Jef! Let’s give a big thanks to Mikhail Farfel for cooperating with the RACCF as well and bring the amazing Russian Community together. Thanks Mr. Farfel!
As well, before I begin to dive into my amazing experiences I had I would like to thank my right hand lady, whom as well helped throughout the festival, Joyce Ward from Glorious Beautiful Hair and Modeling School who acted as one of the coordinators for the festival.
As well let’s give a big thanks to Tetiana Mogylko, the head of Marketing and coordinating this amazing event as well. Tetiana Mogylko, worked tirelessly day by day making sure that everything went as planned and coordinated and marketed the event to the absolute best. Thank you Tata!
And let’s give a huge round of applause for the amazing veterans that attended the Orlando International Peace & Film Festival. They simply looked amazing! Sporting there honor badges. Not only did the Orlando International Peace & Film Festival premiere movies from all around the world, a special tribute to International veterans was done as well. Simply amazing Applause!
Now, where should I start? The Orlando International Peace & Film Festival was held right in Orlando Florida at the Crowne Plaza hotel near Universal Studios Orlando. It was a 4 day festival spanning from Thursday, November 12th – Sunday, November 15th. Once I had arrived I took note of the beautiful decorations that surrounded the venue, which was very welcoming as well. Film makers from all around the world, thanks to Jef Gray and his team again, came all the way to Orlando Florida to premiere many of their independent and documentary films. I began to snap photos and Joyce Ward began gathering many of the producers and film makers together so I can have a nice little sit down and hear of their amazing stories and experiences when making these films. The very first affiliate of the festival I had the chance to sit down and chat with was Yuri Shapochka, the Director of the Featured Film “Club House”. Yuri, with all his amazing wisdom, had informed me of the process of creating his film. “Editing, of all the steps, is the process of creating a film that takes the longest for me,” stated Shapochka. He has worked with multiple producers from Hollywood and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild Award’s
And with the conclusion of that amazing interview, the films began rolling out. A film in which I watched and was very much intrigued by was a film called “Troubled Waters”, Directed by Govinda Nepal
The film spoke of the many issues surrounded around the lack of water in the valley of Kathmandu, where poor people struggle with a limited supply of clean water. The water in Kathmandu valley has reached an all time low, with the Government only supplying little amounts of water at a time using the stagnant Bagmati and support rivers. Govinda did an amazing job on describing how well Nepal is known for its vast water supply but in areas such as Kathmandu, water is only but a dream for most people, searching and gathering water has become a day to day activity for many villages around the Kathmandu Valley.
You can view Govinda Nepal’s entire trailer for the film “Troubled Waters” at: Troubled Waters
Great Job Govinda!
The festival was eventually in full swing, and more than 1300 films were submitted from 87 countries. The International Peace & Film Festival showcased a total of 112 of those films from 67 out of 87 of those countries. The festival was attended by the Russian Consulate General, whom also collaborated with the International Peace & Film Festival and US State Department, the Embassy of Ukraine, the Orlando Film Commission and the Mayor of Orlando’s office.
This was the International Peace & Film Festival’s first year as a film festival, and it will continue to have one for the future years to come–hooray!
The official channel of the festival as well is IPFF.TV available on Roku and Amazon Fire devices. (Apple TV coming in December).
As movies continued to roll out, the festival made its way over to The Orlando Science Center, located in Downtown Orlando. What a truly magnificent place it is as well. Many of the guest began to pack the Science Center’s theatre, and special guest Big Persona himself sang the National Anthem to many of the guest. After Mr. Persona’s performance I was able to pull him aside for a few moments to conduct a short interview. I was able to speak with Big Persona about his up and coming movie On The Mind of a Beautiful Woman set to premiere December 3rd, a movie that I had the pleasure of being a part of as well. Click the video below to view me and Big Persona’s entire interview:
After speaking with Big Persona, the documentary film “Liquid Borders” directed by Barnali Rae Shukla premiered in the Science Center. What an amazing and touching documentary it was. Liquid Borders, which was created in multiple parts of India touched on the base of a village that is separated by a border which is completely invisible to the human eye. The boarder is beneath a river, liquid, and separates thousands of people on either side of it. However, beyond the physical border aspect of the documentary, Barnali did an amazing thing which I very much admired her for. She touched base on psychological borders as well, such as race, culture, violence, and politics.
“At this age and time, I think it’s time to relook at what politics is trying to do to us. And I think that we as humans should work together to try and understand this. This is the message that I am trying to get across, using borders as a theme.”
Barnali, with her amazing documentary, touched many areas of issues in society today, while still documenting the strict borders within India. A river that separates two villages from intertwining with each other. Guard towers can be see on multiple sides of these invisible borders, ready to shoot down any intruders of either party. Barnali did an amazing job capturing the intensity of the atmosphere in India. Click the video below to view me and Barnali’s entire interview:
With all those amazing films being premiered it was time for some amazing performances. The amazing and so very talented group all the way from Belarusian came in and graced us with their amazing talents and performances.
Words can’t describe how amazingly talented this group his. They performed for all four of the Film Festival’s days. Their voices echoed throughout the halls, all in harmony, and their amazing spirit and talent seeped through every wall and spirit in the room. Click the video below to see some of their amazing talents in live actions!
And soon the amazing performances continued and didn’t stop. The adorable kids from Global Outreach Charter Academy, Jacksonville, FL showed their cute little faces. They danced their hearts out. With such little hearts, they showed what a little practice and culture can do. The students from Global Outreach Charter Academy did an amazing job at the Orlando International Peace & Film Festival, and one of the school’s instructors graced us with an amazing song as well. View them and a video clip below!
With all the amazing performances going on I had the pleasure to sit down again with an amazing film maker and Executive Producer. He goes by the name Rajesh Suvarna, and he truly is a talented and very artistic gentlemen. His filmed is called, in English “Refugee” which tells the amazing tale of a family dealing with the many dilemmas of the war in Afghanistan. What I liked most about Rajesh and the way he directed his film, was the aspect that he used real life people, people that have lived through this traitorous war and still to this day is currently being effected by it. Rajesh was not only able to tell a tale of a family’s survival, but also was able to speak on many aspects of morals and humanity as well, referencing many real life issues in humanity. Check out me and Rajesh’s amazing interview below:
You can find more information about Rajesh and his amazing adventures at Dianasfilm.com and contact at Rajitv@email.com
The International Peace & Film Festival not only had amazing films and performances, but some amazing speakers as well. One of our first speakers was an amazing lady, whom also is a Lawyer by the name of Ksenia Ksusha Maiorova. Ksenia spoke, with great knowledge, of the many ways for attendees from different countries on how to receive a Visa. A card which allows foreigners from different countries to reside and even live in a country other than their home country. Ksenia, explained with precise instructions on how to obtain different forms of Visas and how one can go about receiving them. Great job Ksenia!
The next speaker was very interesting, and spoke on many topics. His name is Dr Weiping Yu, PhD from NASA. Dr. Weiping spoke on the many concepts of the Universe and the many theories on where matter and light comes from. With his amazing knowledge he compressed many of it into a slideshow which he displayed for his audience. Not only that, but Dr. Weiping had live props for many of his guest to touch and use as he completed his presentation. Dr. Weiping spoke on the way light travels through the Universe, and how we still to this day have not debunked many of the theories that revolve around light, matter, and energy.
The best part in attending all of these amazing events is the great people I get to meet. People from different countries, different heritages, and different places around the world is what really intrigues me the most. A young lady I actually met was from Trinidad, I am Trinidadian, so I was so pleased when I had discovered her amazing display of pieces from Trinidad and Tobago. Her name is Alisha Ali-Charran.
She was so kind and loving, and shared her amazing stories and tales of the place in which she was born in. She shared some amazing information about her culture and family, as well as her life in Trinidad & Tobago as well.
“My name is Alisha Ali-Charran I am from the birthplace of the steeldrums (steelpan ), calypso music and limbo yes the Limbo dance we all so love to do was originated in Trinidad and Tobago did you know that?
My family and I we elated when we were invited to attend the International Peace & Film Festival by our dear friend Tetiana Mogylko, and big thanks to Jef Gray as well, and even though we were almost four hours away (as we reside in Ft Lauderdale Fl.), it was worth every second, the festival was phenomenal we were blown away by the various activities and how thorough and well organized it was.
I truly believe ” A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet ” and those new friends we made at the festival from all around the globe made our trip all the more remarkable , we look forward to the next one as TOGETHER we can make this world a better place !!
I will share with you some of the island’s rich culture
Trinidad and Tobago, while they are sister Islands they are both very different Trinidad is a huge business travel destination especially as its home to booming oil and natural gas industry, it has more of a city field the demographics are approximately 40 % East Indian decent 40 % African with Europeans ,Asian and Portuguese making up the other ethnicities and amazingly they all live together like one big happy family!”Some fun and interesting facts about this twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago are
Thank you so much for sharing your amazing stories Alisha-Ali Charran and attending the Peace & Film Festival it was a pleasure meeting you. And what’s a Film Festival without a Juggler! Check out these amazing tricks from this amazing juggler from Russia who juggled 5 soccer balls at a time! Amazing!
A complete and official list of award categories with finalists and winners of the 2015 International Peace and Film Festival as well as of the film showcased are as follows:
Ambassador of Peace
The Ambassador of Peace is awarded to the film that illustrates the tangible engagement of peace. It is the highest award of the festival.
Future Dreaming – Australia
Director: Kaya Finlayson
Producer: Dinah Wakefield
Featuring: Dr. David E. Martin, PhD
Avant Garde is awarded to the film with highest level of technical achievement used to present a story.
Baobabs, between Land and Sea – France
Directing Producer: Cyrille Cornu
- Best Screenplay: Fanos Christophides, 5 Ways to Die, Cyprus
- Best Direction: Asad Sikandar, Muhazir/The Refugee, Afghanistan
- Best Cinematography: Ashraf Shishir, Gaariwala/The Cart, Bangladesh
- Best Lead Actor: Polina Pahomova, The End of Epoch, Russian Federation
- Best Supporting Actor: Diana Sikandar, Muhazir/The Refugee, Afghanistan
Rising Star Award
Recognizing exceptional talent in the student film category: Winning nominee designated by *
- Enchanted Ink – University of Central Florida, Jo Anne Adams
- Pianino for Peace – Ukraine, Max Rykov *
- You Are Not Alone – China, Yufeng Li *
- End of Epoch – Russia, Sophie Chernysheva *
- Marshalling Peace – USA, Autumn Bordner
- The Golden Frog – India, Manish Pandit
Best Music Video
Recognizing the highest quality of music based cinema: Winning nominee designated by *
- Profides-Dragostea – Romania, Andrei Goaga & Craita Ene-Goaga*
- Human Smile – France, Virginie Vinet
- Knock Knock – India, Pramod Sahoo
- Ardoyne – Ireland, Philip Clayton-Thompson
- Save the Earth – Ukraine, Ruslan Bokach
Essence is awarded to the top film in the shorts category. The award recognizes the films ability to creatively convey an idea in minimal time. Winning nominee designated by *
- Second Love, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan Daria Korneeva / Bakhtiyar Islamov*
- Mungesa/Lack, Kosovo – Shqiprim Selimi*
- Yokes, Belarus – Igor Osmolovski *
- Common Man, Nigeria – Stanlee Ohikhuare*
- Let’s Our Men Dance, Iran – Hiwa Aminnejad
- L’Énigme, Morocco – Fidae Sbaai
- Nimbu Pani, India – Kishor Patil
- Crafts, Uganda – George Stanley Nsamba
- Sally, Syria – Zahra Alboudi
- 5 Ways to Die, Cyprus – Daina Papadaki*
- Karma, Croatia – Dina Cvek & Kristian Došen*
- Ryggin Fri, Sweden – Viktor Hertz*
- Fuddu Boys, India – Hanish Kalia
- A Day in the Life of a Pint, Ireland – Robbie Walsh
- Die Ausgestossenen, Austria – Tim Ellrich
- The Push, Russian Federation – Alexey Naumov
- Give and Break, Norway – Nicolai Caspari Stigar*
- You Are Not Alone, China – Yufeng Li
- The Island, Taiwan – C. Jay Shih
- Predators of Transylvania, Slovakia – Julia Kolenakova
- Bekendor, Ukraine – Anastasiya Kharchenko*
- Useless Eaters, Germany – Moritz Jakobi*
- Epidemic of Knowledge, United Kingdom – Olley Edwards*
- Trinity, Uganda – Ray Zablocki*
- Pozzallo Pirates, Belgium – Dimi Dumortier
The Award of Enlightenment is assigned to the films which best explore and document a cultural art, lifestyle or history. Winning nominee designated by *
- Liquid Borders, India – Barnali Rae Shukla*
- Troubled Water, Nepal – Govinda Nepal*
- Vasenin, Russian Federation – Pavel Sablin*
- A Woman’s Story, Canada – Azra Rashid*
- Baobabs Between Land and Sea, France – Cyrille Cornu*
- Hope, Myanmar – Min Min Hein
- Following Shira’s Journey, Greece – Natalie Cunningham
- Draw Not War, Italy – Matteo Valenti
Judges Choice Awards:
The five judge panel awards their “Choice” awards from the festival as follows: Winning nominee designated by *
- Vasenin, Russian Federation – Pavel Sablin
- Bekendor, Ukraine – Anastasiya Kharchenko
- Give and Break, Norway – Nicolai Caspari Stigar
- You Are Not Alone, China – Yufeng Li
- Second Love, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan Daria Korneeva / Bakhtiyar Islamov
- Mercy’s Blessing, Malawi – May Taherzadeh
- Trinity, Uganda – Ray Zablocki
- Heavy Water, USA – Andrew Donoho
Knowledge Share Awards
The festival knowledge share sessions, where leading experts come to share their knowledge and skills for the good of mankind, presents awards to the top presentations as follows:
- Dr. David E. Martin, USA – M-Cam: Transforming Business And Social Models From Scarcity To Abundance
- Dr. Weiping Yu, PhD. NASA: Unlocking the Mysteries of Universe
- Olley Edwards, United Kingdom: Diagnosis of Autism in Girls
What an amazing time I had the International Peace Film Festival! Thank you all for having me, thank you to the Russian Community for being such an amazing group! And all the other amazing countries that attended this year’s event. I do look forward to seeing all of you next year, and thank you so much Jef Gray for having me! Enjoy the International Peace Film Festival Gallery below! – David Plowden, Mod’s Manor