The first British festival to celebrate modern and classic Ukrainian cinema starts this week in Tower Hamlets.
Ukrainian Cinema Days hopes to challenge one-dimensional stereotypes of the country by screening some of its best classical and contemporary films.
Josephine Burton, co-founder of the international production company Dash Arts, said that the event goes “beyond the headlines of war and politics” to present diverse stories from the country — including some set in Ukraine’s modern-day conflict between military and separatist forces.
Igor Iankovski hopes the event will be a chance for establishing new contacts and developing young people’s creativity. His charity, the Initiative for the Future Charity Foundation, is sponsoring the festival as part of its mission to support cultural and social work by and for young Ukrainians.
Iankovski 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.”
Each screening will be followed by a Q&A with film directors, producers and actors. All films are in Ukrainian but captioned in English.
The event is also presented by the Kyiv Molodist International Film Festival and the Ukrainian State Film Agency.
Andriy Khalpakhchi, general director of Kyiv Molodist IFF, said that he is confident that the festival will “contribute to the positive image of Ukraine around the world”.
Most of the screenings and discussions of the Ukrainian Cinema Days take place at Richmix Center from December 10 through to December 13. Tickets can be booked and purchased online.
Follow Khanim Javadove on Twitter: @khanim