My name is Dana Mitanova. I was lucky enough to be born in a small, but no less beautiful Bulgarian village named Krynychne in the south of Odesa region, which lies on the shores of the majestic lake Yalpuh. Folk dances and singing have always been a part of my life: during my school years I attended various clubs, participated in competitions and festivals, and already then I felt a special attraction to my native culture and an extraordinary spiritual uplift when I immersed myself in it.
After graduating from the secondary school of Krynychne with honors, I entered the Faculty of Journalism, Advertising and Publishing in Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University. While working as a journalist, I created materials about national and religious holidays and the way of life of peoples living in Odesa region, in particular, about the Bulgarians and Gagauzes of Bolgrad district.
I am extremely proud of the fact that I had and still have something to tell about my homeland, and I try, if there’s a possibility, to bring my friends and acquaintances here so that they can perceive the local charm on their own. My guests are happy to come and sometimes joke that Krynychne will soon conquer the world, because the village, where people are sincerely proud of their culture, follow the traditions of their ancestors, preserve a unique dialect and treat with incredibly tasty dishes and wine, simply can’t remain in the shadows.
For me "OKO" is an opportunity to introduce my amazing Bessarabia with its endless steppes, the largest freshwater lake in the country, hardworking and hospitable locals, who used to work and party tirelessly, to the people of Ukraine and the whole world. This Ethnographic Film Festival is a great occasion to meet the unique people, learn about the lives of other peoples and cultures and look deeper into yourself, because only by knowing the "alien" you can understand the true value of the "own".