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Dana Mitanova

An editor and translator in the team of the OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival, and a Ukrainian Bulgarian.


She was born on October 15, 1995, in the Bulgarian village of Krynychne (Chushmelii), in the south of the Odesa region, Ukraine.


After successfully graduating from Krynychne Secondary School (now Krynychne Lyceum) in 2012, she entered the I. I. Mechnikov National University of Odesa, the Faculty of Journalism, Advertising, and Publishing. In 2016, she received a bachelor's degree with honors, and in 2018, she received her master's degree with honors in journalism.


After that, she started her career in the field of media. Thus, in 2018–2019, Dana worked as a regional correspondent in Odesa for the all-Ukrainian daily socio-political newspaper “Segodnia”. And from 2019 to 2021, she was a journalist and editor of the regional newspaper “Lymanski Fakty”. 


She has always been interested in public projects. In particular, in 2018, Dana became a volunteer at the civil society organization Ecoaction. She also supported environmental initiatives in Odesa, such as the projects Turning Waste into Help, City of the Future, and others.


In August 2019, she joined the International Volunteer Work Camp organized by DRA (now Austausch e.V.) in Sloviansk, Donetsk Oblast, as a volunteer. The project aimed to help locals and temporarily displaced citizens affected by the hostilities in eastern Ukraine, to learn about the local cultural and social life, and to create a civil society center called Drukarnia.


In 2020, she became a participant in the educational project Davai Zminy. Vykhod za Mezhi (Let's Create Changes. Go Beyond) organized by the Open Space. Due to this project, she gained general skills in creating local projects online, managing a team of volunteers, and promoting one's project on various platforms.


Also in 2020, she became a speaker at a discussion panel on “How to save the planet while shopping and how to make waste useful?” at the Opinion Festival in Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk region, which is annually organized by CF Vostok-SOS.


While working as a journalist, besides writing sociopolitical texts, Dana created materials about national minorities in the Odesa region. In fact, her interest in the culture, customs, and traditions of the peoples of southern Ukraine and her love for her native Bessarabia led her to join the team of the OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival in late 2020. She took on the responsibilities of editing the texts of posts for social media and documents and translating them into English, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian.


In addition, Dana was engaged in audiovisual translation of the films of the competition program of the II edition of OKO into Ukrainian, including Arho – The Afar Salt Trade of Northeastern Ethiopia, which won the Best Short Film category in 2021; Outside the Oranges are Blooming; Walking with Plants; Missing Girls; The Village Resists; and Another Paradise. During the III edition in 2022, she translated into Ukrainian the films Quebradilla and Nomadic Girl, the latter of which won the Best Short Film nomination.

Apart from the film festival, she also works as an editor and translator, dealing with Ukrainian, English, and Bulgarian. One of her big projects was a series of 12 documentaries called Disappearing Villages (directed and produced by Tetiana Stanieva) commissioned by the Ukrainian public broadcaster UA: Suspilne in 2021. Within this project, Dana created subtitles, translated texts from minority languages (folk songs, poems, historical information, stories of heroes, etc.) into Ukrainian, and edited them.


Currently, she continues her work as a member of the OKO team and also coordinates the work of a group of translators of the films in the IV edition of the film festival's program in Bulgarian.

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