The course of history has always driven the Ukrainians to stand up for their identity. Ukrainian cinema is currently experiencing a creative boom. A number of films made in Ukraine over recent years have reacted to changes in the country, reflecting the path the country has to take to move from the cultural isolation of the Soviet period towards a renaissance of Ukrainian cinema.
Amsterdam will host Ukrainian Cinema Days “Ukraine on Film: Way to Freedom” for the first time. The event will be held from March 30 till April 1 in the capital of the Netherlands, just a week before the referendum on the Association between Ukraine and the European Union, scheduled on April 6, 2016.
During the film festival “Ukraine on Film: Way to Freedom”, the visitors will be able to see documentary movies, depicting memorable events for Ukraine, from the classics of silent cinema, “The Eleventh Year” by Dziga Vertov, to films from international festivals “The Russian Woodpecker” by Chag Gracia and “Winter on Fire” by Yevhen Afanasievskyi.
The showcase is opening with “The Eleventh Year” cinematic performance. The documentary “The Eleventh Year”, is the first piece shot by the pioneer of world cinema Dziga Vertov in Ukraine. The film is based on a Soviet newsreel shot during the 1920s, telling the story of the construction of socialism. In 2014, Vertov’s “Man with a Movie Camera” has been recognized by the British magazine “Sight & Sound” as the best documentary of all time.
The documentary hit “The Russian Woodpecker” by Chad Gracia, is the winner of Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at Sundance Film Festival. The protagonist, Fedor Alexandrovich is a radioactive man. As a child, he was exposed to the toxic effects of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and forced to leave his home. Now 33, he is an artist in Ukraine, obsessed with the earth-changing catastrophe – why did it actually happen? The story is balancing between a documentary investigation a thriller about conspiracy theories. The Russian Woodpecker entered the Oscar long-list. The film will be presented by the protagonist Fedor Aleksandrovych and the producer Marina Orekhova.
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” will close the festival. This film, by Evgeny Afineevsky, is the nominee for this year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” was shot in the midst of Euromaidan, and co-produced by Netflix and participated the program of international film festivals in Venice and Toronto. Chronicling events that unfolded over 93 days in 2013 and 2014, the film witnesses the formation of a new civil rights movement in Ukraine. In Amsterdam, the feature will be presented by the director Evgeny Afineevsky and the creative team.
The screenings will take place at Pathé Tuschinski, one of the main theaters of Amsterdam, located in the legendary historic building. Days of Ukrainian Cinema Ukraine on Film: Way to Freedom are presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the State Film Agency of Ukraine.
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