Ukraine: Here We Go! How to Get to the Central Platform of Documentary Cinema?

14 May 2019

This year, for the first time, with the support from the Ukrainian State Cinema Agency, Docudays UA organizes the Ukrainian delegation at the IDFA — Ukraine: Here We Go!


The IDFA festival has long been called “the documentary Cannes,” because this is where the established masters of documentary film, debutantes and over 3,000 representatives of the film industry — distributors, sales agents, festival and fund programmers — come from all over the world. The 32nd International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam will take place this year between November 20 and December 1, 2019.


“The IDFA is the main meeting place for wide circles of professionals from the documentary world,” says Darya Bassel, head of the Docudays UA industry platform. “Because in addition to film screenings, the IDFA organizes a large-scale program for filmmakers to help them develop projects at any stages of production. “At the IDFA co-production market, IDFA Forum, filmmakers and producers present their projects to experts. At Docs for Sale, they present new documentaries to festival programmer and distributors. IDFA Academy offers international workshops and masterclasses to everyone who is trying to understand how the documentary industry works and how to properly promote their project.”


In fact, Ukrainian film projects have received financial support from Bertha Fund, the IDFA foundation, many times. The Fund is an internationally well-known institution that supports documentaries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America every year. In the past few years, it supported Ukrainian Sheriffs by Roman Bondarchuk (who also received the special jury award at IDFA 2016), Alisa in Warland by Alisa Kovalenko, and The Elf Tower by Polina Kelm. This year, Bertha Fund supported the films The Earth Is Blue Like An Orange by Iryna Tsilyk and Between Two Wars by Alina Horlova.


Thanks to the cooperation between the Ukrainian State Film Agency, Docudays UA and IDFA, this year, Ukrainian professionals will have a chance to receive financial, coordination and consulting support and to present their projects at world’s central documentary film platform.


“This year, the Ukrainian State Film Agency has an opportunity to allocate more funds to promoting our films abroad. Thanks to this, we will be able to present the capacities of our filmmaking at world’s biggest documentary film platform for the first time. I am convinced that the experience that Ukrainian documentary filmmakers will gain by participating in this forum will affect the development of documentary filmmaking in Ukraine and pave its way to the competition programs of festivals at this scale,” notes Pylyp Illenko, the head of the State Film Agency.


“Our goal is to broaden the documentary world’s idea about Ukraine and, in turn, broaden the idea that Ukrainian filmmakers have about the international documentary market. We want to present high-quality and competitive Ukrainian films at the IDFA, to help them find co-producers, distributors, or festival platforms. The authors of the projects that we are going to select will be able to receive full or partial funding for the trip to the festival, as well as our consulting and organizational support,” adds Darya Bassel.


Read more about the terms and the application process at this link.

25 – 
April 2022