THR: How Europe’s Film Industry Is Backing Ukraine in the Culture War With Russia
European producers, festivals and funding bodies are throwing their support behind Ukrainian directors trying to tell Ukrainian stories: "This support can help the survival of Ukrainian culture.
A few weeks ahead of the Venice Film Festival, Autentic, the nonfiction division of German indie powerhouse Beta Film, snatched up international distribution rights to OUP-produced documentaries Mariupol. Unlost Hope and 9 Lives. Unlost Hope, based on the diaries of local journalist Nadia Sukhorukova, shows the war through the eyes of local people who lived through the first month of the invasion in Mariupol. 9 Lives follows the volunteers who risked their lives to rescue animals from the areas that were abandoned in the wake of the Russian attack.
“The main mission of our organization is to help Ukraine in this war by showing the world, the international audience, what is happening in Ukraine, to give a transparent and fair picture to counter Russian propaganda,” says Igor Storchak, one of OUP’s founders.
Beta Film has been particularly active in backing Ukrainian productions since the war, recently picking up Ukrainian historic series Cardamom Coffee for the global market and selling The Silence, a Croatia-Ukraine co-production, to HBO Europe and Germany’s ZDF.
“The Ukrainian people are not only setting a heroic example for the world, but I think will also inspire a desire for more heroic stories.” Beta head Jan Mojto told a crowd of international buyers at this year’s MIPTV television market in Cannes in April.
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