News

Eleven film curators from Ukraine at the IDFA Film Festival

14 November 2022

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, we have been paying special attention to our work in the field of cultural diplomacy. With comprehensive support from our international partners, we present our delegation of 11 film curators at Europe’s biggest professional platform for the documentary community.

In a dialogue with film festival teams, together we look for ways to establish Ukrainian film professionals as well as ways to deconstruct the colonial heritage in the film industry. We seek to encourage global festivals to invite curators from Ukraine instead of involving the Russian community which still, like many years before that, decides the fate of films from the entire Eastern Europe.


On 14 November at 1:00 p.m. at Felix Meritis, at the 35th International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA), there will be a presentation of the Ukrainian delegation of 11 film curators.


Delegation participants:



Viktoria Leshchenko, Programme Director of Docudays UA, describes the concept of the initiative:

“The idea to bring together and popularize Ukrainian film curators emerged after our partner participation in an online event organized by the Institute for Documentary Cinema. It was titled Decolonization of Old Ideological Constructs and Film Industry, its moderator was the amazing Dîna Iordanova who works deeply with this topic. She was the one who inspired us to gather the names and information about our experts in a publication on the IDF website.”

The material spread widely in professional circles, and Ukrainian experts started receiving job and collaboration offers. So the idea of a delegation of film curators became the next step. The main goals of the event are to introduce the Ukrainian delegation to international institutions, programmers from other film festivals, to establish and strengthen connections in the professional community.


The key goal of the event involving Ukrainian film curators is to let our partners know whom to address if they have requests for Ukrainian films or events. We also want to remind them that they can invite our colleagues to their teams, since this is an effective way to support our professionals during a difficult time as well as enrich the expertise and programming perspective of their own teams. 


“For a long time, major international festivals have been involving film curators responsible for selecting films from a certain region. There was a concept of the ‘post-Soviet region,’ which included 15 countries that emerged after the Soviet Union collapsed. The position of the film curator for the ‘post-Soviet region’ was often given to Russians. And they were most likely to lobby for Russian films to include in the programmes. But everybody can see that times have changed now. The point of the demand for decolonization is for Ukrainians to represent Ukraine in these programming teams for film festivals,” comments Viktoria Leshchenko, Programme Director of Docudays UA, on the previous history of collaboration.

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The delegation of Ukrainian film curators is organized by Docudays UA with support from Open Society Foundations and in collaboration with IDFA.

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