Docudays.UA Breaks Through Intellectual Illusions

The 13th International human rights documentary film festival Docudays.UA has opened in Kyiv on March, 25th and will last till April, 1st in the House of Cinema (Saksaganskogo, 6), Kyiv Cinema (Velyka Vasylkivska, 19) and Kinopanorama Cinema (Shota Rustaveli, 19).

This year the audience will see 93 films from 43 countries from all over the world. Some 140 participants, including 60 guests from outside Ukraine will participate in this year’s festival. The festival will feature the works by Oscar laureates, winners of world documentary film festivals and, what’s very exciting, many films by Ukrainian directors.

This year the main theme of the festival is declared as “Through the illusions”. There are five powerful stories about the tough way of writing the Constitution of Zimbabwe, about the illusion of change in Russia, about two sheriffs from Ukrainian Old Zbruyivka village, about brave Chechen human rights defenders from Grozny and, finally, a documentary essay about the history of conflict in Afghanistan and the political games that cause endless wars and chaos.

The Festival will host DOCU/UKRAINE national competition featuring 12 short documentaries on lives nowadays by young Ukrainian directors. There are a quick review some of shorts:

All goes as planned (Directed by Mykola Dondyuk)

(See trailer above)

Ever-present schemes involving abuses of authority and kickbacks are still very much alive, and show no desire or intent to set Ukrainian capital Kyiv free. This short tells the story of an illegal development in the city, local activists’ struggle against armed unidentified security groups at the construction site, and the local officials who ignore the problem.

‘Reve ta Stohne’ on Tour (Directed by Nadia Parfan)

How far can you go on the way to your dream? Zhenia and Maks stopped working in the office and took up music seriously. Their band is called Reve ta Stohne. The guys do growl singing and dream of becoming real rock stars. However, for a start they need a music video and a studio album. And most of all they need money to pay for them. In search of income, ‘Reve ta Stohne’ travels to the West.

Gregorian Syndrome. Part Three (Directed by Dmytro Hlukhenky)

This is a story of love, betrayal and responsibility. Fenik and Alina live for the moment, as people lost on the brink of civilization and human morality. Both lovers have children, and they cherish the hope that they will soon be able to take the kids to live with them. But those are only words. Alina’s infidelity pushes Fenik towards reconsideration but will it last? The film is about the manifestation of human feelings in souls ravaged by alcohol. It hints at our common responsibility for the future. One wants to think that children will be healthily immune to this syndrome and will become better than their parents. That is how it is supposed to be.

 Home (Directed by Anna Korzh)

Home is the place where you store your dreams, your happiness, your serenity. But what do you do when you have to leave immediately, without thinking? Then there is nothing left to do but keep home in your heart and dream about coming back with every fiber of your soul. Tetiana has lived all her life in the Luhansk region, but due to the war, she has to decide whether to lose home or to lose her life. She left for the sake of her son’s security. They lived in Kyiv for almost a year but the worries about her mother and homesickness were stronger, so she decides to come back to take her mom with her and to be at home at least for a moment again…

 Lost (Directed by Oksana Karpovych)

‘Immigration resembles a postponed stage of the Lacanian mirror: a traumatic moment of distancing from your ideal ‘self’, from an imaginary mother’s uterus. It is an insight of a negative kind that brings me knowledge which I will never lose. This film is a farewell to my old home, a mosaic of my childhood memories, and a weeping psalm to the identity which I left behind. It is also a celebration of the birth of a new person. In emotional pain I die to be re-born’.

Has-Been (Directed by Olena Moskalchuk and Dmytro Burko)

A film about the Petrivka book market in Kyiv and its sellers of used books.

There are also other competition programs – DOCU/LIFE, DOCU/RIGHTS and DOCU/SHOTRS. Every competition has its own jury in addition to student jury and audience who will vote for their favorite work too.

The jury has already selected the winners and on March, 31 at 15:00 the best projects will be announced. The winner will receive a GBP 5,000 grant and two runners-up will be awarded a GBP 3,000 grant from Docudays.UA and the British Council for the production of their own documentaries. Admittance to the pitching session is free.

Visit the festival web-site to get more info: http://docudays.org.ua/

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