Three times I started writing an address on behalf of the Docudays UA team, and three times I postponed it: the situation in this country has been changing practically every minute, and we didn’t know what the end of that day or that night might look like. Repeatedly the team discussed the possibility of postponing or even cancelling it this year, but still the warm support of our friends and colleagues from all over the world has assured us that this year the festival is needed more than ever.
We need it as a weapon in the information war, which we are still losing to Putin; we ourselves need it as a consolation in hard work overt hese tragic four months. Because now we should get people involved, tell them about the invincible power of human dignity, share experiences with them, and inspire them to develop new ideas and projects for building our own new Ukraine...
We prepared Docudays UA this year in exceptionally difficult conditions. Our festival office was just a couple of steps from the Maidan. It became a shelter, a warming place, a night lodging for journalists and documentarians from various countries who had come to us because they wanted to sort out what had and was happening in Ukraine. Due to their heroic efforts with global media, the ideas of Maidan started to emerge unbiased, the protesters in the eyes of the media became ‘citizens’ and ‘protestors’, rather than ‘mutineers’ or ‘fascists’. The members of our team did everything, from documentary screenings on the Maidan stage in Kyiv and other cities, and handing out tea on the square, to providing first aid, patrolling streets with the Automaidan, and shooting the most striking footage. We ourselves became familiar with the batons of the Berkut, tear gas, and rubber bullet wounds. We endured, and we won’t forget those who were less lucky.
This revolution stripped us naked and made us better. There’s a wise Chinese saying, “the worse, the better.” After everything we’ve lived through, we now truly understand what the Chinese mean by this.
I am grateful to all our guests who weren’t afraid of coming to Ukraine. But I am most grateful to the team of Docudays UA, and I’d like to express my admiration to those dear to me who didn’t give up and fought despite everything so that this year’s festival could happen. Glory to Ukraine! Blessed be the heroes!
PR-Director and member of Selection Committee at Docudays UA