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22 May. 2023

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Ukraine in Cannes: why participation in the film festival is important

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Ukraine in Cannes: why participation in the film festival is important

Today, Ukraine's participation in the Cannes Film Festival is not only a way to popularize Ukrainian cinema, but also an opportunity to remind the world of the horrific crimes committed by russia. Find out what films Ukraine presented this year and what statements Ukrainian representatives made in Cannes

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The 76th Cannes Film Festival began with a poem by Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka, read by French actress Catherine Deneuve in her native language. In her speech, the legendary film actress said that the events in Ukraine could not leave her aside, and her heart ached for the Ukrainian people. The audience responded to Catherine's statement with a standing ovation.


Why is participation in the Cannes Film Festival important for Ukraine?


This year, Ukraine has an important mission at the Cannes Film Festival, as not only the development of the Ukrainian film industry is in the balance, but also the possibility of stopping further cooperation between global distributors and the terrorist country. 


Thus, the Ukrainian Union of Cinematographers published an open letter calling on the participants of the Cannes Film Festival to stop cooperating with russia. The reason is that foreign films, including those from A24, Lionsgate, STX International, FilmNation and Pate, are still being released in russia.


The Ukrainian delegation also opened two panel discussions:


● on measures that will contribute to the isolation of the russian film industry. A number of issues are urgent, from participation in the financing of international terrorism to box office receipts in russia;

● and the development of the Ukrainian film industry during the war. The available opportunities and the risks posed by russia's armed aggression were discussed.


Other important events include:


● The "Canned Next" event, which discussed issues related to the development and support of Ukrainian cinema;

● "The Women at War in Ukraine" project, which emphasized the role of Ukrainian women amidst the horrific war;

● A pitching session to find investors called "Ukraine in Focus", with world leaders in the film industry as partners. The pitching involves 10 Ukrainian film projects that are currently in development.




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What films did Ukraine present at the Cannes Film Festival?


This year, Ukraine will be represented in two programs: Cannes Docs and Producers Network.


Thus, two documentaries are participating in Cannes Docs (Spotlighted Projects section): "The Silent Flood" by Dmytro Sukholytkyi-Sobchuk and "Dad's Lullaby" by Lesya Dyak.


The Producers Network program includes 5 Ukrainian producers:

● EF Pictures, Zlata Efimenko;

● Tabor Production, Karina Kostina;

● Babylon'13, by Andriy Kotlyar;

● EvosFilm, Olga Matat;

● Toy Cinema by Dmytro Sukhanov.


In addition, the festival program will feature two films about Ukraine:


● The premiere of the documentary film "From Where to Where", which reveals all the pains of evacuated refugees from Ukraine. France and Poland took part in the creation of the film together with Ukraine, and the main director is Maciek Hamela from Poland.

● The long-awaited debut of the short film "How It Was", which aims to show how Ukrainians returned home for the first time after the start of the full-scale invasion. The film is directed by Ukrainian Anastasia Solonevych and Polish Damiana Kotsyura.


So, we hope that the Ukrainian delegation will be able to convince the world's independent distributors that it is necessary to stop cooperation with russia. After all, back in November 2022, russia was declared a state sponsor of terrorism, and therefore any partnership with it sponsors aggression on the territory of Ukraine.


We remind you! Unfortunately, before the full-scale invasion, most people in the world knew almost nothing about Ukraine as an independent state, and some even considered it an appendage of russia. Read how the world's attitude towards Ukraine has changed in our previous article.




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