Ukrainian documentary “School #3”, created in co-production with Germany has been awarded with the grand-prix in the parallel contest program «Berlinale Generation 14+» of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.
Philanthropist Igor Iankovskyi, who issued a travel grant for the camera-crew to Berlin, has commended the creators of the movie with their success.
“I am truly glad and proud to see your talent, creative and keen vision of the dramatic events in Eastern Ukraine to generate the emotional response in minds and hearts of the jury of one of the most reputable film festivals of the world, which brought your well-earned victory at Berlinale. Pain and compassion for the fates of people, hope and aspiration for the peace in Ukraine are cross-stitched in “School #3”, those feelings that matter the most to me”, - noted Igor Iankovskyi.
The “School #3” has been directed by Georg Jeanneau from Germany and Elizaveta Smith from Ukraine. The heroes of the movie are the teenagers from Mykolaivka village of the Donetsk region, which has been seriously damaged during the combats for liberation of Slovyansk in summer 2014. Thirteen years old boys and girls who survived the war, share with the audience their life, their dreams and projects for the future. After the film’s premiere in Berlin, the hall cannot stop applauding and all the further projections in Berlin have been gathering full houses.
Despite the fact, that the “School #3” was the only Ukrainian movie in the official Berlinale contest program, this edition our country had a broad representation as never before. This became possible in many ways due to Igor Iankovskyi’s Foundation and NGO’s “Initiative for the future” support of the initiative by the State Film Agency of Ukraine and Ukrainian Cinema-Makers Association: to create a full-featured Ukrainian stand at the biggest European cinema market, that is being held annually in junction with the Berlin Film Festival.
For these means Igor Iankovskyi had transferred a lease payment for the stand amounted to 450 thousand hryvnias. Thus, Ukraine obtained an opportunity to enlarge the square of the national stand from 4 m2 in 2016 to 24 m2 this year. Ukrainian national stand, entitled with the motto “Ukraine is Your Destination” has been outstanding not only by its space and unique design, but also functioned as the real “Embassy” of our country to the world of cinema. During the festival it served as a communication platform, which abridged a record number of meetings between national and foreign cinema-makers and even seen the signature of several agreements on co-production.
Furthermore, Igor Iankovskyi Foundation and NGO “Initiative for the future” have traditionally covered the journey of a group of young cinema-makers to the 67th Berlin Film Festival. This year the group comprised six students of Kyiv National I. K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University and the founder of Kyiv International Short Films Festival, Kyrylo Marikutsa. For the first time in history, the students have received an official invitation from the Festival’s headship to get acquainted with its work and Kyrylo Marikutsa delivered a series of lectures under the special section “Berlinale Talents 2017”.
Moreover, the projections of Ukrainian films have been organized under the European cinema market: “Moustapha” (by Akhmed Sarikhalil), “The People’s Servant 2” (by Oleksii Kiriuschenko), “5th Therapy” (by Alisa Pavlovska), “Peace Be in Your House” (by Volodymyr Lert).
One of the Festival’s special events was the projection of a documentary “The Process. Russian State Versus Oleg Sentsov” by Askold Kurov. The film tells a story of an absurd prosecution and illegal conviction for 20 years of a well-known Ukrainian director in Russia.
It also became a good tradition to conduct a solemn reception in honor of Ukrainian cinema, that continued on the 67th Berlin Film Festival with the support of Ukrainian Cinema-Makers Association and partners. The informal gathering has further helped to establish partnerships among Ukrainian and foreign cinema-makers, reuniting more than 200 representatives of the industry from all-over the world who could enjoy the music by Mark Grytsenko, the front man of Ukrainian rock-band «Marakesh».
The 67th Berlin International Film Festival had been held from 9 to 19 of February 2017 in the capital of Germany. It is the “A” category international festival, reputed as one of the most influential and attended in the world. It is being oriented towards progressive geopolitical cinema. The jury pays a lot of attention to the equal representation of different countries, notably the former “East Bloc States”.