Ukranian Cinema Days, the first festival celebrating modern and classic Ukrainian films in Tower Hamlets continues this weekend aiming to show another side of the war-torn country.
Josephine Burton, Artistic Director of Dash Arts which produced the festival said the event goes “beyond the headlines of war and politics.”
The festival features Ukrainian feature films, shorts and documentaries. There will be screenings of both contemporary and classical cinema, which depict both historical and current events in Ukraine, including the on-going conflict.
Documentary “The living fire” opened the festival on December 10, telling the story of the Ukrainian-Carpathian shepherds trying to keep their age-old traditions alive.
Throughout the rest of the weekend, there will be screenings of: “The guide” (2014), about an American boy and a blind bard brought together by fate in the early 1930, “Trumpeter” (2014), a musical comedy, about the rivalry of two orchestras and “Firecrosser” (2011), a historical drama, about a Ukrainian-born Soviet pilot captured by the Nazis during WWII.
The festival will also include “White bird with a black mark” (1971), which world film critics have called a masterpiece. It was developed by renowned Ukrainian director Alexander Dovzhenko.
The event is presented by the Igor Iankovskyi Charity Foundation, the Kyiv Molodist International Film Festival and the Ukrainian State Film Agency.
Igor Iankovskyi said: “We are committed to the development of young talent, and also, in my opinion, it’s time to actively export their work abroad. That’s why we bring to London young Ukrainian filmmakers and present their short films.”
Andriy Khalpakhchi, general director of Kyiv Molodist IFF said: “The goal of our joint project is to introduce foreign audiences to Ukrainian cinema – both modern and classic.”
It is the first festival of its kind to be held in London. However the organisers hope it will become an annual event.
“We are confident that such an introduction will contribute to the positive image of Ukraine around the world,” added Khalpakhchi.
Philip Illienko, Head of the State Film Agency of Ukraine said: “It is the art, and cinema in particular, that can best represent a country abroad.”
Each screening will be followed by a Q&A with film directors, producers and actors. All films are in Ukrainian, but will have English subtitles.
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