Ukrainian film festival Ukraine on Film: Way to Freedom was for the first time held in the Belgian capital on 23-24 January. National titles will be presented in Brussels by Head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency Pylyp Illienko, Director of Dovzhenko Centre Film Archive and Film Museum Ivan Kozlenko, documentary film director Oleksandr Techynskyi and producer Denys Ivanov.

The program of the festival features films united by a common subject – a fight for freedom (way to freedom). Among them is the high-profile festival hit The Tribe by Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi, the box office hit The Guide by Oles Sanin, Oleh Sentsov’s debut feature film Gamer and other outstanding films. Each of the screenings will be preceded by a presentation from the members of the delegation, and the audience will be invited to take part in a discussion.


One of the main goals of the film forum is to draw the attention of the European community to the case of Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, convicted in Russia to 20 years in jail on fabricated charges of terrorism. Head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency Pylyp Illienko will present Sentsov’s debut feature film Gamer.


Documentary film director Oleksandr Techynskyi will personally present the film opening the festival, All Things Ablaze, winner of the Best East European Documentary Award at DOK Leipzig Festival, which tells about the events of the Revolution of Dignity.


Avant-garde documentary film The Eleventh Year (1928) by Dzyga Vertov will be presented by Ivan Kozlenko, Director of Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre Film Archive and Film Museum. Over the past years, the Centre has restored this and many other gems of Soviet Ukrainian cinema. The screening will be accompanied by a live musical score performed by Anton Baibakov and Sofiia Turta. Composer Anton Baibakov wrote the new soundtrack on commission from the Docudays UA ​International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival for the screening of The Eleventh Year on the festival closing night in 2013.


For family viewing, Ukranimafilm animation studio offers a collection of adventures of the famous Cossacks, with which several generations of Ukrainian viewers grew up. At the moment, Ukranimafilm is working on a sequel to the legendary animation series – in the new episode the Cossacks will set off to travel around Europe. This screening will be introduced by Denys Ivanov, film producer and Director of Children KinoFest, a film festival for children and teenagers.


Denys Ivanov, producer: “The goal of the festival is not only to present iconic Ukrainian films in Europe. Today, more actively than ever, we are trying to integrate European values. Therefore, a cultural dialog and discussion of social and artistic challenges are of particular importance. Within the festival, we want to talk about how Ukrainians are fighting for freedom, on many levels, how the cinema is responding to social processes, about Oleh Sentsov – and we want to talk about these things in the capital of the European Union”.


Ukraine on Film screenings will be held at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in Brussels. The festival thanks Ukraine International Airlines for air transfer. It is planned that the festival will become an annual event.


The festival organizers: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ukrainian State Film Agency, Arthouse Traffic, the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts.


Arthouse Traffic Press Service

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