Ukraine Is Your Destination!

Results of Ukraine's participation in the 71st Cannes Film Festival

From 8 to May 19, Cannes hosted one of the most famous and most prestigious film festivals in the world – the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival, which traditionally hosted the Marché du Film film market.

This year, for the first time, two Ukrainian films, which received support from Ukrainian Film State Agency – Donbass Sergei Loznitsa and “Woman at War” by Benedikt Erlingsson, got on the competition programs of the Cannes International Film Festival and were awarded with awards.

The film by director Sergei Loznitsa “Donbass” won the prize for best director work in the official competition program Un Certain Regard (“Special View”) – the second most significant contest program at the Festival de Cannes, and the fact that the world premiere of the film “Donbass” opened the program this year, has a special significance. The film was created in co-producers of Germany, Ukraine, the Netherlands, France and Romania. The Ukrainian partner was the film company Arthouse Traffic, Denis Ivanov was a producer. In the Ukrainian film distribution “Donbass” will appear this year.

In turn, the film “Woman at War” directed by Benedikt Erlingsson, premiered in the framework of the Semaine dela Critique (“The Week of Critics”), won two awards: the SACD (Authors’ Society) – the award for the best music that awarded by a consortium of writers and composers, and the only state award of the Cannes Film Festival, entitled as Grand Rail d’Or (“The Golden Railway”). According to the Ukrainian co-producer of the film Sergei Lavrenyuk (Solar Media Entertainment company), music has become an integral part of this film. It features Ukrainian folk songs performed by the women’s trio: Irina Danyleiko, Galina Goncharenko and Susanna Karpenko. Lyrics adapted by Irina Klymenko, head of the Laboratory of Ethnomusicology at the National Academy of Music, and director of the Benedikt Erlingssoт`s film. The film “Woman at War” was created in co-production of Ukraine, France and Iceland.

In addition to the participation of our films in the competition programs of the film festival, Marché du Film Ukraine has traditionally been represented by the National Pavilion, organized jointly by Ukrainian Film State Agency and representatives of the Ukrainian film industry: Film Industry Association of Ukraine, Kyiv International Film Festival “Molodist”, Odesa International Film Festival and Ukrainian Film Association. The program of events at the stand was united under the slogan – Ukraine Is Your Destination. The main task of the pavilion was to present Ukraine to international partners as a promising and profitable cinematic country with an updated legislative base, a set of services and production facilities capable to satisfy the most demanding customer.

«The Cannes Film Festival is one of the largest and most influential in the world. The results of Ukraine’s participation in the film forum have become a litmus paper to the quality of the development of the film industry in recent times. The positive results of the Ukrainian pavilion and the recognition of Ukrainian films in competitive programs give the industry the opportunity to promote Ukrainian cinema, promote the search for foreign investment and co-production of films not only in the European market, but also in the world context » 

- said Volodymyr Yatsenko, Head of the Film Industry Association of Ukraine

One of the main events of the Ukrainian National Pavilion was the business lunch Meet Ukrainian Producers, organized by the Igor Yankovsky All-Ukrainian Charitable Fund “Initiative for the Future” and the Monegasque Association Helping Hand jointly with the Ukrainian Film State Agency. The meeting for Ukrainian and foreign co-producers Meet Ukrainian Producers at the Cannes Film Festival has been taking place for the third year in a row. The experience of the two previous lunches proved their effectiveness: new Ukrainian films are being created in co-producers with European directors. This year’s presentation of Ukrainian cinema projects at Radisson Blue Cannes attracted more than 90 professionals from the film industry, who noted the high level of presentation and high-level skills of domestic cinematographers. Nine Ukrainian films were presented at different stages of production to foreign producers: Anton (producer Andriy Suyarko), Atlantis (producer Volodymyr Yatsenko), Winter of the braves (producer Artem Koliubaiev), “Premonition” ( Producers Artem Kolibaev and Andriy Ermak), The Legacy of Lies (producer Alla Belaya), Stasys (producer Natalia Libette), Zenit (producer Natalia Libette), Just Sex. Nothing personal (director Olga Ryashina), “The player with time “(directed by Alexander Nedbayev and producer Pavlo Sushko).

As part of the Ukrainian National Pavilion, cocktail meetings from the Odessa International Film Festival and Kyiv International Film Festival “Molodist” also took place. Symbolic completion of the market was the Ukrainian party, organized with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in France. During the party, Ambassador of Ukraine in France Oleh Shamshur presented Oleg Sentsov`s book which called “Tales” and which is translated into French, as well as an essay “Anthology of Donbass” by Irina Dmitrishin.

Congratulations to this year’s winners, we are working out contacts and preparing to conquer the following peaks – Ukraine Is Your Destination!