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OKO Film Festival in Finland: Look at Ukraine with other eyes!



On November 20, 2022, OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival will bring Ukrainian movies to Helsinki Finland. The films presented in the program will give the audience a new perspective on Ukraine.


The OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival is a young film festival that takes place in the Southern Ukrainian region of Bessarabia in Bolhrad city. With the main focus on ethnographic documentaries, it presents a variety of films about different countries, nations, cultures, and religions, thus discovering and exploring different ways of life. The philosophy of the festival is to celebrate diversity and promote respect and tolerance. OKO has no red carpet policy; however, it is always a feast of great documentaries and guests coming from all over the world.


Right after the closing ceremony of its third edition, which due to the war will take place in the Polish city of Toruń, OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival will head North to discover Ukraine for Finland.



Elena Rubashevska, festival program coordinator:

“There are certain Ukrainian films that keep circulating through film festivals all over the world. Most of them are about war, and it is very important to talk about that. But the mission of our festival is to focus on life-affirming, positive aspects of life. While composing a program, we are trying to maintain a balance between war and peace, sadness and joy, serious and entertaining topics. In Finland, we really want the audience to discover Ukraine not through the prism of war, but from a different angle as well. Our country and its culture are big and diverse, and we hope we will show you some unexpected sides of it!”.


Titles to be screened:


1st session:


Thus they will sing 18 min dir. Diana Gorban, Anna Yutchenko

Shameful songs are songs with erotic motifs that were sung at weddings, parties, and feasts. And although it was a shame to sing these songs in everyday life, their content broadcast models of the behavior of men and women. The tradition of composing songs still exists. Ostap Bogoslavets from Nadvirna rethinks the modern world of youth in his own songs.en. The tradition of composing songs still exists. Ostap Bogoslavets from Nadvirna rethinks the modern world of youth in his own songs.


Own 28 min dir. Myroslav Lutsyk

On February 24, 2022, a full-scale war was launched, which completely changed the lives of all Ukrainians. The question arose of the survival and preservation of the culture and independence of the entire nation. The film uses footage taken in the occupied towns of Bucha, Irpin and Borodyanka, which are located in the suburbs of Kyiv, showing the terrible consequences of the war, as well as footage of what Ukraine was like before the war.


Mustache Funk 70 min dir. Oleksandr Kovsh

In the late 1960s, the Soviet politburo directed the creation of musical groups analogous to those of the West in a bid to sway the youth from western music. These groups, known as Vocal and Instrumental ensembles, went on to usher in what some call the “golden era” of Ukrainian pop music.


2nd session:


The Stronghold 111 min dir. Yuriy Kovalyov

The Stronghold is a Ukrainian adventure/fantasy film based on the book of the same name. A present-day schoolboy Vit'ko goes a thousand years into the past.


Tetiana Stanieva, festival director:

“The more we learn about peoples, the better we understand them. This is how tolerance and respect for others are born. We can find numerous differences between us as well as a lot in common. Our festival teaches loving one's own culture and appreciating the culture of other peoples. The films we want to show you will tell you more about Ukraine, its deep history, and its culture—this is what Ukraine continues fighting for and defending against Russian aggression today. These films debunk the propaganda myths of the Soviet Union and expose the issues and pains of our country. Come to watch the movies and see Ukraine with other eyes, get to know Ukrainians, and talk about our country with the authors and the team from Ukraine”.


The screenings are possible thanks to the support of the Bulgarian Embassy in Ukraine, and with the media support of the Ukrainian State Film Agency.

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