On December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, the “OKO” International Ethnographic Film Festival will finish its journey at its birthplace, the hospitable land of Bessarabia. After the third edition in exile in Poland and screenings of the “'OKO' Travels” in Finland and Bulgaria, the festival will bring films to Bolhrad and present the best selection to the Ukrainians—just as we presented the best of Ukraine to the foreign friends before.
Festival director Tetiana Stanieva: “There are many different places, but there is no place like home. Home is the best. That's why we bring home the best. It hurts and oppresses that our 'OKO' film festival, like millions of our fellow citizens, became a refugee this year because of the war. We cannot invite guests home, and we became uninvited guests abroad. But wherever we show Ukraine through films, we talk about Bolhrad, the birthplace of the film festival, and invite everyone to visit us next year. After all the trips, we will come back home to Bolhrad with the whole team to show the best and embrace our souls in common pain. We will bring congratulations and winners, we will talk and console ourselves. Let our films become psychotherapy for everyone. So let's believe in victory, keep up, and be inspired by the December “OKO” films! Next year—in Bolhrad”.
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.
dir. Taras Tomenko
Nastya was ten when a missile fired by Russian terrorists on New Year's Eve changed her life forever. It took her father's life and destroyed their house. Nastya's school is only 500 meters from the front line. War has become commonplace. Just a part of the landscape. The only means for Nastya's family to survive is the scrap metal they scavenge while under fire. Senya is seven years old. He is a first-grader. In the seven years of his life, he has seen seven years of war and not a day of peace. Senya likes to climb on the boney pile to watch the sunset. His stepfather dig graves to earn money for a new suit and backpack for Senya. This is a film about children who live in the war zone in Ukraine.
Peacekeepers: In the Svaneti Mountains
dir. Andriy Kirshin
Shortly after the Ukrainian crews returned to their motherland, a telegram from the Georgian leadership came to the then-president of Ukraine: “We regard your unselfish help as the extension of the historical traditions of brotherhood and mutual respect of two fraternal peoples. Our gratitude for the rescue of the doomed refugee army, who were caught in the mountains of Svaneti is enormous. We are deeply convinced: those who were connected with pain and joy, will live forever, this will be passed from generation to generation”.
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.
dir. Ruhollah Akbari (Iran)
The daughter of one of the nomadic tribes, despite all the problems caused by the traditions and common beliefs about girls exercising, succeeds in many successes in the sport of king boxing. She tries to persuade the girls' families in the area to encourage them to attend training classes in the “Black Tent” of the Nomads.
I am Chance
dir. Wajnberg Marc-Henri (Belgium (about the Democratic Republic of the Congo))
I am Chance follows the microcosm of a group of street-savvy girls in the surprisingly bright, pop, and artistic megacity of Kinshasa. Astute, sassy, and resilient, Chancelvie and her friends take on the world, fighting and nurturing, stealing and sharing, turning tricks, and making art. Vibrant and exuberant, Kinshasa itself becomes a character in the film, combining its voice with that of the girls.
“OKO” is open to collaborations with other countries, festivals, and institutions that pursue values of respect towards other cultures and ways of life. We always stand for peace and tolerance, and are glad to share our vision through films from all over the world!
The screenings are held thanks to the support of theMinistry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria according to the program Bulgarian Aid for Development, the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Ukraine, Bolhrad city counciland the media support of the Ukrainian State Film Agency.