"Ukrainian Day" at the Cannes Film Festival: bringing together American, European, and Ukrainian filmmakers

cannes film

Recently, one of the major events in the world of cinema, the 76th Cannes Film Festival, came to an end in France. French actress Catherine Deneuve, who declared the festival open, mentioned in her speech that her heart aches for Ukraine. She recited a poem called "Hope" by Lesya Ukrainka, translated into French.

The opening film of this year was the historical drama "The Favorite" with Johnny Depp in the role of King Louis XV.

A separate day was dedicated to supporting the Ukrainian film industry during the wartime period. "Ukrainian Day" included three events: two panel discussions in the American pavilion area and the Ukrainian Networking Cocktail.

The panel discussion featured leaders of the Ukrainian film industry, including Artem Koliubaiev, the head of the State Support Council for Cinematography of Ukraine, Serhiy Lavrenyuk, the founder of Solar Media Entertainment production company, Andriy Fesak, producer of F Films, Andriy Khalpakhchi, the director of the "Molodist" film festival, and others. American co-producer of the documentary film "Superpower" by Sean Penn, Billy Smith, was also present.

The panel discussion was opened by Victoria Yarmoshchuk, the head of FILM.UA, and moderated by Timur Miroshnychenko.

The representatives of the American and Ukrainian film industries discussed examples of film production in international settings and raised important questions for Ukraine: film production during a state of war and how Russia's influence before the war was always a form of propaganda and external aggression. They also discussed statistics on Ukrainian box office revenues, current productions, and the future prospects of Ukrainian cinema.

"Our industry still needs your help and support, but now I can confidently say that our film industry has not only survived but has also achieved impressive records! Filming continues even during massive rocket attacks, films of various genres are released and achieve record-breaking box office results," said Artem Koliubaiev.

Andriy Fesak emphasized that the widespread European message of "culture beyond politics" unfortunately cannot apply to Russia during its aggressive and annexationist war. "Russian soft power is not soft at all, and European cultural institutions should adequately respond to the Kremlin's propaganda cultural policy in the world."

Sergiy Lavrenyuk shared that the main feature of shooting during wartime is the incredible motivation among filmmakers who participate in the production, as well as the creative, technical, and administrative teams. And as sad as it may sound, during war, people are highly focused and motivated to elevate culture and film production.

Special attention should be given to the participation of the special guest, Hollywood actor and producer Billy Smith, who, together with Sean Penn, produced and filmed a documentary in Ukraine during the initial days of the full-scale invasion.

Billy Smith talked about how heroically the Ukrainian part of their film crew, along with Sean Penn, conducted themselves during the initial days of the full-scale invasion and how impressed Hollywood professionals were by their work in extreme conditions.

This year, the Ukrainian National Pavilion in Cannes was organized through the joint efforts of representatives of the film industry, including the State Film Agency of Ukraine, Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival, the NGO "UkrKinoFest," the NGO "Association of Entrepreneurs of the Television and Film Industry," the Ukrainian Motion Picture Association, and the NGO "Center for Creative Industries Development."

The Ukrainian day at the festival in Cannes is supported by the KOBLEVO brand, which presented an authentic line of wines inspired by the magnificent Samchykivsky painting. The brand takes pride in the opportunity to contribute to the popularization of Ukrainian art, carry a socially responsible mission, and prove that Ukrainian wine KOBLEVO is also a work of art.



Photo by Leonid Naidiuk


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