The reality we live in now is being recorded by thousands of professional and amateur cameras. When the full-scale invasion began, the scope of recording and coverage of reality only increased. How is Ukrainian documentary cinema changing in these conditions? What new tasks are the authors facing? How does each of the filmmakers answer the question, “Why do I continue making films?” Are the forms and roles of documentary cinema changing, in this information field which is oversaturated by video content? And what kind of experience does Ukrainian documentary cinema give its audiences now?
Speakers: Mstyslav Chernov, Roman Liubyi, Dmytro Hreshko, Igor Ivanko, Volodymyr Tykhyi
Moderator: Maryna Stepanska
Mstyslav Chernov is a Ukrainian war correspondent, filmmaker, photographer and novelist. Chernov is an Associated Press journalist and the President of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers (UAPP). He has won several prestigious awards, including two from the Royal Television Society for his coverage of the downing of flight MH17, and the Georgy Gongadze Prize, ICFJ Knight awards, and the DW Freedom of Speech Award for documenting the siege in Mariupol as one of three remaining international journalists in the city. He was Ukrainian Photographer of the Year in 2013 and 2015. Chernov's first novel The Dreamtime was published in October 2022 by Cherry Orchard Books in Brookline (USA). The book draws heavily on his experience as a war correspondent, including his coverage of the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Roman Liubyi was born into a family of visual artists in Kyiv, Ukraine. He got a degree from the Karpenko-Kary University of Theatre, Cinema and Television as a specialist in non-fiction film.
His participation in the Babylon’13 civil society cinema association since 2013 marked a huge leap in Roman’s professional life. His feature-length debut was War Note, made solely of personal recordings from the phones and GoPros of Ukrainian soldiers from 2014. He has made two short documentaries from the materials of criminal cases about the major war crimes of the Russian-Ukrainian war, and this experience led to Iron Butterflies, a film about the downing of the MH17 civilian plane.
Dmytro Hreshko started to study documentary filmmaking in 2018 and shot his first documentary that same year. Since 2020, he has actively participated in organising events for the Zakarpattia Film Commission aimed at developing filmmaking in Zakarpattia; the same year, he also co-founded and became a programme coordinator of the Carpathian Mountain International Film Festival (CMIFF) in Uzhhorod. He is a frequent participant of international workshops and pitchings, such as the East West Talent Lab at goEast Festival (2021), Works In Progress: Ukraine at the Stockholm International Film Festival (2022), the presentation of Ukrainian film projects at the East Doc Platform (2023), and the Beldocs pitching forum (2023).
Igor Ivanko is a Ukrainian director and producer of documentaries, and a cinematographer of both features and documentaries. He’s a member of the Babylon’13 documentary filmmakers group which highlights the events of the Maidan uprising and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. He graduated from the Karpenko-Karyi Kyiv National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television, he has also participated in the Ex-Oriente Film Workshop and the Dok Incubator Workshop (Institute of Documentary Film), Czech Republic.
Volodymyr Tykhyi is an author, director and co-producer of the Mudaky (Fuckers). Arabesques project and the Ukraine, Goodbye! almanac of short films. He participated in the Berlinale, won a Silver Leopard at the Locarno IFF 2012, a Clermont Ferrand award 2013, and was a nominee for the European Academy Award. In 2013, he finished his film The Green Jacket, which participated in the competition at the San Sebastian IFF, the Warsaw IFF and the Tbilisi IFF. Brama (The Gateway) (2017) and Lethal Kittens (2020) became significant events in Ukrainian cinema. Recently the filmmaker has been directing the documentary web-series Babylon’13, dedicated to the social and cultural revolution in Ukraine starting from 2013.
Maryna Stepanska was born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1982, Marina graduated as a director Karpenko-Kary National University of Film,Theatre and Television in 2004. Further, Marina worked at the experimental theater School, where she studied the methodology of working with non-actors. She completed the 6-month ARCHIDOC programme for documentary filmmakers at the French film and television school La Femis.Her scripted feature debut Falling received several awards at the international film festivals and three awards from the National Golden Dzyga in 2017-18. Now she is working on a documentary feature It's not the full picture, that follows the lives of Ukrainian filmmakers since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.