For the first time in history, on January 23-24, the Belgian capital hosted the Ukrainian film festival Ukraine on Film: Way to Freedom. The halls were full –  the screenings attracted more than a thousand viewers, among which were the Ambassador of Belgium to Ukraine Luc Jacobs, Franco-Belgian filmmaker Olias Barco, actor Rosario Amedeo, representatives of EU institutions, the diplomatic corps, centers of political studies and the media.


The Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) presented the festival’s hit The Tribe by Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi, the box office hit The Guide by Oles Sanin, the documentary All Things Ablaze by Oleksandr Techynskyi, Oleksiy Solodunov and Dmytro Stoykov, as well as the restored avant-garde film by Dziga Vertov, The Eleventh Year. The collection of adventures of the famous Cossacks from the animation studio Ukranimafilm was offered for family viewing. There was also a charity screening of the debut feature-length film by Oleg Sentsov, Gamer: all the money raised by ticket sales will be handed over to the family of the film director, a prisoner in Russia. All festival screenings were accompanied by presentations by the Ukrainian delegation with the appeal to give Oleg Sentsov back his freedom.


The Ukrainian delegation to Brussels included Chairman of the Ukrainian State Film Agency Pylyp Illienko, Director of Dovzhenko Center Film Archive and Film Museum Ivan Kozlenko, documentary filmmaker Oleksandr Techynskyi and producer Denis Ivanov. The special guests of the event were composer Anton Baibakov and musician Sofia Turta – they performed the soundtrack written by Anton Baibakov for the closing night silent film, The Eleventh Year.


The Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, where Ukraine on Film was held, is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in Brussels. For air transfer the festival thanks Ukraine International Airlines, a reliable partner who for many years has supported international film forums and art-house film distribution in Ukraine. For organizational support the festival thanks the Ukrainian community in Belgium. After the successful launch of the project in January 2016, the organizers promise to make the film festival 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.


Source: Arthouse Traffic Press Service


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