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Ukrainian Feature Film Competition 2023

We Will Not Fade Away

Director: Alisa Kovalenko
Country: Ukraine

Donbas, 2019. The prospect of a new Russian invasion hangs in the air, while the sound of the gunfire resulting from the old one can still be heard in the distance. In this seemingly bleak wartime setting, five teenagers start to think seriously about their future. Their energy, enthusiasm, and hope allow them to fully live out their last golden hours of childhood despite the circumstances. The members of this imaginative band of dreamers paint, take photographs and fantasize about acting careers or becoming the next Elon Musk. They rebel, ride the waves of adventure, walk into minefields, and sunbathe by a local lake. They dream of escaping not only from the war but also, like teenagers all over the world, from the boredom of a small town. Then, an opportunity to embark on a long journey all the way to Nepal unexpectedly arises. Will their dream of conquering the world come true?

20 Days in Mariupol

Director: Mstyslav Chernov
Country: Ukraine

An AP team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol struggles to continue their work documenting the atrocities of the Russian invasion. As the only international reporters who remained in the city, they captured what later became defining images of the war: dying children, mass graves, the bombing of a maternity hospital, and more. After nearly a decade covering international conflicts, including the Russia-Ukraine war, for The Associated Press, 20 Days in Mariupol is Mstyslav Chernov’s first feature film. The film draws on Chernov’s daily news dispatches and personal footage of his own country at war. It offers a vivid, harrowing account of civilians caught in the siege, as well as a window into what it’s like to report from a conflict zone and the impact of such journalism around the globe.

Life to the Limit

Director: Pavlo Peleshok
Country: Ukraine

From the Revolution of Dignity to full-scale war. Successful Ukrainian film producers took up arms to defend the country and cameras to capture the terrible reality. Veterans Pavlo and Yurko assembled a mosaic of causes and impacts that entailed the current Russian-Ukrainian war, from the end of 2013 to the present day, from the fragments of their memories and their film archive. The authors joined the frontline voluntarily, had been to the hot spots of Donbas, and created a homemade drone called Furia, named after one of the best aerial reconnaissance units. All the while, they continued working to show the world the truth about the horrific war that became possible in the 21st century.

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