DocWorks: UA/UK

The British Council in Ukraine, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Docudays UA have come together to deliver a three-stage feature documentary training and mentorship programme - DocWorks: UA/UK. The curators have selected the best three Ukrainian and three British projects. It is a special training program established to help the directors and producers with straightening the storylines of their films and to understand the real film industry.


"The 12 Steps from Cradle to Grave”

Director Edward Cowley

Producer Irina Golovanova


The 12 Steps from Cradle to Grave looks at how corruption affects people from all walks of life in Ukraine in through key stages of their life from giving birth to their burial, from going into the army to getting divorced. Our film has an international crew with citizens from Ukraine, the UK and Russia and it will appeal to both a domestic audience who are familiar with the issues it will raise and an international audience who may not be. Our film does not aim to judge, we know we can’t change the world but we can comment on life’s injustices in a compassionate way and we’re certainly not going to take things the way they are lying down.



Director Vicki Thornton

Written by Vicki Thornton and Pavel Yurov

Producer Marion Guth


An actor and filmmaker travels to a former Soviet mining town at the edge of the world, searching for utopia and memories of home.    
An existential journey from the past to the present, (N)OSTALGIA tells the story of a young actor and filmmaker from the Donbas region, who travels to a former Soviet mining settlement at the edge of the Arctic Circle after fleeing his hometown following the outbreak of war. Disillusioned by politics and increasingly alienated by the rapid erasure of the Soviet past back in Ukraine, he initially finds solace in this new, metaphorical version of home.  However, he is quickly forced to confront his beliefs and sense of personal identity when faced with the new reality that is performed there by both the local community and the many tourists who mediate their experience via their cameras and smartphones. Repackaged as a tourist destination, the town now exists in a liminal state as both spectre of communism and future vision of capitalism. A unique hybrid of documentary and fiction told through three interconnected perspectives, (N)OSTALGIA asks us to question the relationship between performance, geopolitics and ideology, and observe how the past continues to haunt the post-Soviet present.



Director Oksana Kazmina

Producer Ljosha Chashchyn


Film's logline: In search of a treasure pearl mussel fearless Ama divers go up to 25 meters deep without any equipment. “UNDERWATER” is a story about people who aren't afraid to dive free into their own depth.


Synopsis: They are edgy artists, trash models, porn actors, LGBT fighters. We call these people queer. But actually they are just sincere with themselves. The film follows “unofficial” aspects of their lives, fragile and powerful, personal and political at once, which are their weapons in their everyday fight. Their stories combine into a colorful and diverse yet solid image of a fight for freedom, for the right to be who you are no matter what, to follow your statements and your obsessions. An underwater world where you can stand your ground despite all ignorance, misunderstanding and aggression against you. For crying out loud can make yourself be heard on the surface.



Director Yury Shylov

Producer Sashko Chubko


Film's logline: This story about projectionist that worked 44 years in the oldest cinema in Kyiv, and his struggle to adapt to life after the retirement.


Synopsis: A story of Valentine, who has been working as a projectionist in one of the oldest Kyiv cinemas for 44 years. The events take place right before the beginning of Maydan and a while after it in a projection room of the cinema. This is the last year for Valentine before retirement. The hidden side of movie screenings: various encounters and strange people, drinking with the girls who work in a casting agency across the wall. The events end up with a fire, and Valentine has to leave his job. Retired now, hestruggles to bring sense into his life and to find his way in a rapidly changing country.


The Great Accelerator”

Director Oleksiy Radynski

Producer Lyuba Knorozok


Film's logline: If you feed a deliberate lie into the computer, it will multiply – and mess the whole thing up.


Synopsis: This film unveils the legacy of a visionary Kyiv-based computer scientist Victor Glushkov, the creator of ‘the Soviet internet’. By looking at the fate of this never-realized cybernetic project, the film discovers its relevance in the current age of artificial intelligence, NSA mass surveillance, and omnipresent online propaganda. The film is largely based on the ongoing research in the Ukrainian Film Archive, where numerous documents of Glushkov’s activities are preserved; on the actual film shoots at the facilities were Glushkov’s automated systems of control were installed (including Druzhba pipeline and Chernobyl nuclear plant); and on the interviews with leading computer scientists of today who draw on the ideas of Victor Glushkov. 


The Programme


Open call start – 30 March 2016

Applications deadline - 25 April 2016

Results announcement - 28 April 2016

Announcement about mentors of DocWorks: UA/UK - 2 June 2016

First stage of the programme: workshop at Sheffield Doc/Fest - 8 - 10 June 2016

Attending Sheffield Doc/Fest - 10 – 15 June 2016

Online mentoring - July 2016 – February 2017

Second stage of the programme: workshop and pitching in Kyiv at Docudays UA - March 2017

Attending Docudays UA - 24 – 31 March 2017


DocWorks: UA/UK aims to


- Mentor emerging filmmakers on the conceptual development of their feature-length project;

- Prepare documentary filmmakers to attract the interest of funders, distributors and festivals;

- Prepare documentary filmmakers to access festivals and markets and get the most out of them;

- Build alliances and spark collaborations between UK and Ukraine-based documentary professionals.


If you have any queries about the programme or how to apply, please email Anna Parker, [email protected].

 31 — 9 
June 2024