Programme Review

Special events of the anniversary 20th Docudays UA

26 May 2023

For this anniversary festival, we have prepared a number of special screenings, including the Gala Opening, curatorial collaborations, special theme films, a film premiere at the closure of Docudays UA, and three audience days. 


Let us begin with the stories of teenagers growing up against the backdrop of the war in Eastern Ukraine, which are told in the opening film of the 20th Docudays UA, We Will Not Fade Away by Alisa Kovalenko. It is a tender portrait of the young generation from frontline towns. The gloomy reality is unable to interfere with the plans of the protagonists who continue to fight and boldly pursue their dreams. The world premiere of the film took place at the Berlin Film Festival, where it competed for the Crystal Bear.


A still from the film We will not fade away

One of the festival's special events is the screening of Klara Kleininger's No Elephant in the Room, organized in cooperation with the Krakow Film Festival. This is a show of gratitude and solidarity with our friends in Krakow, who supported us last year by providing their film platform for the screening of the DOCU/UKRAINE competition programme. This year, we are happy to host the films from this year's national competition of the Krakow Film Festival.


We will also present to our viewers Outside, a film by Olha Zhurba about the life of teenager Roman, a graduate of a rehabilitation center for children deprived of parental care. The film won the Willy Brandt Documentary Film Award for Freedom and Human Rights.


A still from the film Larysa Kadochnikova. War

One more screening will feature When Spring Came to Bucha by Mila Teshaeva and Markus Lenz. The film tells the story of the sensitive and painstaking process of restoring the Kyiv region after the de-occupation. The film won the Audience Award in the category of Best Medium Length Documentary at the Hot Docs Film Festival. Another special event will present to the viewers Larysa Kadochnikova. War by Dmytro Tomashpolsky. The film focuses on the changes that happened to Kyiv and its artists and culture in the spring of 2022.


To mark the anniversary of Docudays UA, we are organizing a film screening about Docudays UA itself. The film Friday, Saturday, Sunday by Kateryna Gornostai captures the work of the festival team on the State of Emergency film weekend that took place in Kyiv in November 2022.


The 20th Docudays UA will close with the Ukrainian premiere of a new film by Serhiy Bukovsky, Ivan and Marta. This is an authentic film narrative about the life and work of Ivan Dziuba, a prominent Ukrainian dissident, writer and literary critic, and his wife Marta in the 1960s.


After the closing of the festival, you will have three exclusive days of audience screenings: on June 9-11, we will re-screen the festival hits and the winners of the competition programs. All screenings will take place at Zhovten and KINO42 cinemas.

The schedule of screenings and events and tickets are available here.

Main photo: a still from the film No Elephant in the Room.
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The 20th anniversary of Docudays UA is held with support from the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine, the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, US Embassy in Ukraine, the Embassy of Ireland in Ukraine, the Embassy of Denmark in Ukraine, the Embassy of Brazil in Ukraine, the Polish Institute in Kyiv and the Czech centre Kyiv. The opinions, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of the governments or organisations of these countries. Responsibility for the content of the publication lies exclusively on the authors and editors of the publication.

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