How Ukrainian filmmakers are listening to their voices – timeline

Ukrainian filmmakers are here to listen and in the words of the poet Dylan Thomas, they will not be soft. While some have come to promote the film in Cannes, many have come here to rally support for their country and to ensure that their voices are not forgotten as media headlines about the Russian invasion begin to wane.

For many, it’s a film festival around a sunny beach with a strange paradox that feels lively and full of life, a festival where only fighter jets kick Tom Cruise. Top gun: Maverick When their own country is devastated by war.

“It’s weird to be here,” said Alexandra Costina of Bosonfilm, producer of the director’s Fortnite entry. PamfirWhich premiered last night. Before speaking to Village International’s Deadline, he looked at a group of delegates walking barefoot on the beach, saying: . It’s very surreal. “

Its director Dimitro Sukholitki-Sobchuk thinks the same.

A few hours before the premiere, he said, “It’s amazing to be here and have my feature play at the festival, but it has nothing to do with my reality.” Pamfir, A drama about a man facing corruption in a small town in western Ukraine “My reality is my country and it’s in the middle of a terrible war.”

He says that every night he comes back to the festival he is sleeping well. “Do you know why?” He asked. “Because I can’t hear the sound of warplanes and air strikes. Safe to the ear here. We do not receive alarms on our phones to alert Ukrainian citizens when my alarm goes off. ”

Maxim Nakonechni says that being here is like being in a “parallel universe”. Director’s movie Butterfly vision, About a young female soldier who returns home after months of captivity and discovers that she is pregnant after being raped by her warden, playing in Anne Sarten Regard the following week. He showed me a tattoo of the Ukrainian coat of arms on his finger and Cyrillic letters spelled “freedom” and “will” on each hand.

But soon after meeting these filmmakers, it became clear that they were fighting well, and they wanted everyone here to know.


Sukholitki-Sobchuk was particularly shocked by Kirill Serebrenikov’s statement at a press conference on behalf of his Palme d’Or contestant. Tchaikovsky’s wifeRussian dissidents have claimed that Russian civilians have also been affected by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“His words will be used very well in Russian propaganda,” he said. “If you invite someone [to a festival] Even if they are a dissenter, they are an instrument of Russian propaganda, even if he is a smart and talented genius. Russian citizens will protect their own citizens. And to hunt down an attacker for that is a huge lie. “

Nakonechnyi made it clear that he thinks the inclusion of the film is completely deaf to the tone, noting that the family of the Russian composer comes from the Ukrainian tradition. “I would like to ask at the festival whether it is really timely to show a film about a musician whose family was born in modern-day Ukraine, in a city that has now been destroyed by the Russian army. Is it timely to show such a film without mentioning it or being aware of it? The answer is no. “

He acknowledged that there was a good reason to support dissidents and those who fought against the regime. I wonder why anyone who is considered anti-government will give a message that is conducive to governance.

Polish-born director Agnieszka Holland, who is also president of the European Film Academy, also condemned the inclusion of the Roman Abramovich-funded project at the Cannes Film Festival. If Kirill Serebrenikov is such a talented artist. “

He added that his “bad feelings” were confirmed by Serebrenikov’s “bad words”: “He used [the film festival’s press conference] Praising a Russian oligarch and comparing the tragedy of Russian soldiers to that of Ukrainian defenders. I will not give him such an opportunity at this moment.

Kostina initially fled Kyiv to a village in Donbass with her husband and 7-year-old daughter, choosing to volunteer at a hospital for premature infants shelled by Russian missiles. “These kids had nothing – towels, beds, pillows, nothing,” she says “We have done our best to help them because they have special needs for such complex situations and medicines and other things.”

The producer is currently living with his family in Holland, France Pamfir Co-producer Klaudia Smieja helped connect. He is using his time in the ear to actively try to create financial support and opportunities for Ukraine from the European sector. Kostina said that since public funding for Ukrainian filmmakers has dried up since February 24, it means the country’s filmmakers have little hope of continuing their work unless other European funding agencies introduce incentives for Ukraine. He is meeting with the European commissioner to see what can be done to protect the Ukrainian filmmaker’s efforts.

“I don’t know what to do if we don’t have the ability to work,” he says. “It is understandable that our government will not support us now because we must rebuild our hospitals, take care of those who need care and rebuild our country. So, on the one hand, it’s not a moment of funding for culture, but on the other hand, if we don’t rebuild our culture, we can’t rebuild our country because the two are interconnected and connected. “

He added, “We know how to produce, we know how to create our projects so that the world is interested but without help from local funds we cannot move forward. We need the opportunity to access European funds, even for development money only, because without it there is no hope for Ukrainian filmmakers today. We’re not asking for a handout – we want to work. “

Nakonechni agrees that it is impossible to be an independent filmmaker without access to funding in war situations.

“I don’t want to make any demands, but we are here because we are the victims, and we need to remind the international community of the policies they are claiming and the international laws they have created.”


The director stressed that the war is not a war that began on February 24, but a war that Russia has been fighting in Ukraine since Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. It was time to edit the documentary. Invisible BattalionWhich the woman enlisted in the Ukrainian army, when she received her inspiration Butterfly vision.

“I am fascinated by the experience of the female soldier,” he said. “Their optics, their attitude towards the war and what is happening with their role in the war was very impressive.”

In the documentary, a female soldier talks about a deal she made with her fellow soldiers: if she was ever held hostage by Russian soldiers, she wanted her fellow soldiers to kill her if given the chance.

“It affected me so deeply that I thought what could be more horrible than a female soldier in captivity and that’s how the idea for the film came about,” he said. It is a complex shoot that was damaged by Covid and the attack began in February. The position had to be changed as Russian troops began to gather on the border.

Although most delegates to the Cannes Film Festival will return to their homes and families, tired of watching the film and making a deal a week later, for these Ukrainians, the future is not so certain. Both Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk and Nakonechnyo will continue to enlist soldiers in the war, acknowledging that filmmaking is now their biggest weapon.

“Now our culture, our literature, our cinema – we have to talk about it out loud on every possible platform because if we don’t speak out loud enough, we will have a chance to kill our enemies once again,” said Sukholitki-Sobchuk.

Nakonechnyi now knows that he and his people have changed forever, and the war will be felt for the next generation. “Once the shelling is over, that doesn’t mean the war is over,” he said. “It lasts a long time and stays with a person forever and they must learn to live with it. War affects art, culture – in all our cases.

For Kostina, he urged the international film community not to forget Ukraine and the filmmaking industry. He worries that attention is declining and that he and his fellow countrymen and women will be forgotten.

“It’s a tragedy that happens every day,” he says. “It simply came to our notice then. We are waiting for the moment to wake up from this horror. “

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