DOCU/PRO

How did the industry events at Sheffield DocFest go?

06 July 2022

On 27 and 28 June at Sheffield DocFest, as a part of the Password: Palianytsia programme, Ukrainian filmmakers and producers participated in industry events from the festival programme: the Meet Market and the Work-in-Progress project presentation. We are going to tell you about the results of the Ukrainian delegation’s participation.

 

The Password: Palianytsia programme became possible thanks to the support of the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute as a part of the UK/UA Season of Culture.

 

Darya Bassel, the head of the DOCU/PRO Industry Platform, notes: “On the industry platforms of Sheffield DocFest, we presented eight Ukrainian projects in total: five of them participated in the MeetMarket, and three showed their fragments during the Work-in-Progress presentation. I was very pleased to hear from my international colleagues that they were impressed by the high level of Ukrainian projects. Our Work-in-Progress presentation brought together many important broadcasters: Arte, BBC, SVT, and the Doc Society fund. It is important to keep in mind that this success is a consequence not only of the war, due to which everyone needs quick content from Ukraine. It is, first of all, a result of the work of filmmakers, producers, the entire industry in the past five to eight years. Because all the projects presented in Sheffield started on their path long before the war.

 

“Sometimes I recall how, at the beginning of my work for Docudays UA, we didn’t even have a National Competition because we didn’t have enough high-quality Ukrainian films. But now we present an exclusive selection of projects at any major film market, and each of them is absolutely competitive at the international stage. I am also very happy that we are supported by such wonderful institutions as the Ukrainian Institute and the British Council—they share our passion for documentary cinema and our understanding of how important documentary filmmaking is as an element of cultural diplomacy.”


 

The projects that participated in Sheffield DocFest received invitations to meetings with partners and positive feedback from professionals and experts. In particular, Nice Ladies by Mariia Ponomarova was in the highest demand at the international film market, the Meet Market. Mariia Ponomarova says: “We’re left with the best impressions from the MeetMarket. There were many productive meetings, and we were so happy that our project resonated with the people we talked to. And we appreciated that the meetings were in person and lasted 30 minutes, not, as it often happens, just 15 minutes on Zoom. We really succeeded at presenting the film more deeply and learned more details about the offers, the audience and the ways to collaborate with potential partners.”

All the projects are currently at different stages of work, but they remain relevant under the conditions of the war—often they even bring certain previously invisible aspects of their stories into sharper relief. The producer of Ivan and Marta. Before the War, Oksana Ivanyuk, shares her experience of participation in the industry events in Sheffield: “I want to thank the Docudays UA team for their incredible work, for the opportunity to present Serhiy Bukovsky’s film Ivan and Marta in the MeetMarket programme. The film is currently at the stage of post-production, we managed to film the required material before the war, and now we are looking for partners and funding to finish the editing and color correction. MeetMarket was a perfect platform for our project to solve this problem. So many new people, meetings with funds that explained their requirements and procedures in detail, an opportunity to present the filmed footage, to engage potential co-production partners.”

 

You can find out more about the Ukrainian projects which participated in the Sheffield DocFest industry events at this link.
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