Ukrainian Film Industry Stages Film Awards In Bunker Amid Ongoing War


In yet another sign of the continued resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people, the fifth edition of the Ukrainian National Film Critics Circle Award, dubbed Kinokolo, pressed ahead with its ceremony on Thursday, in spite of an ongoing war in the country. 

The ceremony was held in a bunker in Kyiv and broadcasted live on national public TV channel Suspilne Kultura from the underground studio, remarkably just days after Russian airstrikes targeted key infrastructure in the capital city and destroyed 30% of the country’s power stations, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

Local film critics recognized projects such as Dmytro Sukholytkyi-Sobchuk’s Cannes Director’s Fortnight title Pamfir, Maryna Er Horbach’s Klondike and Natalka Vorozhbyt’s Are you Ok? 

Pamfir, a drama about a man who faces small town corruption in Western Ukraine after returning from working abroad, came away with the most awards, nabbing Best Feature Film and Best Director and Best Scriptwriter for Sukholytkyi-Sobchuk as well as the Discovery of the Year prize for best full-length debut. 

Actress Oksana Cherkashyna was awarded Best Actress for her lead role in Klondike, her second statuette after winning for Bad Roads in 2020. Vorozhbyt’s Are You Ok?, about a war-traumatized Ukrainian girl in Europe won for Best Short Feature Film while Oleksii Radynsky’s Infinity: According to Florian, about the legendary Kyiv architect Florian Yuriev, won Best Documentary. 

Kinokolo, which opened the Kyiv Critics’ Week, was established in 2018 as an annual award to shine a spotlight on the achievements of Ukrainian cinematography and film industry figures on behalf of the country’s film critics’ community. In previous years, Stop-ZemliaAtlantisHomeward and Donbas were named best films of the year. 

It’s been more than seven months since Russian president Vladimir Putin began his invasion into Ukraine with an estimated 8 million people being displaced within the country and 7.7 million refugees having already fled the country. Those who have stayed have defended their country fiercely. This week, the country is preparing for rolling blackouts after Russia’s continued attacks on its energy facilities. 

Ukraine’s film industry has worked tirelessly to drum up support for their country to ensure that their voices and stories are not forgotten and has also largely called for major film festivals to boycott Russian-backed projects.

Here’s the full list of Kinokolo’s winners: 

Best Feature Film – Pamfir, director Dmytro Sukholytkyi-Sobchuk, producers Oleksandra Kostina, Yevheniia Yatsuta, Artem Koliubaiev, Aliona Tymoshenko, Laura Briand, Bohdana Shevchyk, Claudia Smeya-Rostvorovska, Giancarlo Nasi, Adolf El-Assal, Silvana Santamaria

Best Short Feature Film – Are You Ok? director Natalka Vorozhbyt, producers Denys Krupnov, Natalka Vorozhbyt

Best Documentary – Infinity: According To Florian, director Oleksii Radynskyi, producers Liuba Knorozok

Best Animated Film – WIR, EUROPA, directors Maryna Stepanska, Anna Dudko, producer Halyna Shyian

Discovery of the Year – Pamfir, director Dmytro Sukholytkyi-Sobchuk

Best Director – Dmytro Sukholytkyi-Sobchuk (Pamfir)

Best Actor – Oleksandr Yatsentiuk (Pamfir)

Best Actress – Oksana Cherkashnya (Klondike)

Best Screenplay – Dmytro Sukholytkyi-Sobchuk (Pamfir)

For Achievements to Ukrainian authors of works about Ukrainian or foreign cinema –Stanislav Bytiutskyi, Aliona Penzii, Oleksandr Teliuk for the cycle of film screenings StrangeChimericFantastic

Special Awards – Dmytro “Orest” Kozatskyi, Mantas Kvedaravicius


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