Young Ukraine - a documentary


Alisa Kovalenko

Born 24.09.1987 in Zaporozhye (Ukraine).


2006 - 2011 – journalism studies at Kiev National University named after Taras Shevchenko

2010 – 2015 – direction of documentaries at Kiev National Theatre, Film and Television University named after I. Karpenko-Kary

2015 – grant programme of Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage „Gaude Polonia”

2015 – documentary programme DOK PRO in Wajda School in Warsaw

Work experience:

2006 – 2010 – journalist in Kiev media

2011 – participant in the project “Kiev from Dawn till Dusk 2011”

2012 – co-director of film almanac “Beyond the Euro”

2013 – co-author of documentary “Krasna Malanka”

2014 – attendant of workshop "Young People about Themselves"

2014 – participant in IDFA Forum with project “Euromaidan Almanac”

2015 – attendant of the project “Wroclaw from Dawn till Dusk 2015”


2012 – „This is how it is” student film

2013 – „Grandma Hall. Portrait of an accordion” student film

2014 – “Video-poetry of Maidan” documentary (cameraman)

2014 – “Sister Zo” documentary (premiere at International Film Festival „Molodist” in Kiev)

2015 - “Alisa in Warland” full-length documentary (World Premiere at IDFA 2015; presentation at over 30 festivals all over the world, Grand Prix at FIDADOC in Morocco and DocsMX in Mexico, nomination to EDA Award IDFA 2015).

Stéphane Siohan

Born 21.12.1978 in Brest (Brittany, France).


1996 - 2000 - studies of political science in Lille (France) and in Münster (Germany)

2000 - 2002 – Journalism School (ESJ) in Lille (France)

2016 – “Safe journalism in hostile environment”, Columbia University, New York, USA

Work experience:

2002 - 2016 – journalist (subjects related to social and international issues, Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries, Le Figaro, Canal+ and RTL correspondent in Ukraine)

2011 - 2016 – director and producer of interactive documentaries (France)

2016 – founder of East Roads (documentary production company)


2012 – director of “Gol!Ukraine” (webdoc), distribution.: Le Monde & Arte. Presentation at IDFA in Amsterdam and at Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (FNC) in Montréal (Canada).

2013 – director and producer of “Kinshasa FM” (webdoc), distribution. : RFI, Le Soir &Jeune Afrique. Philippe Chaffanjon Award for the best French online production.

2016 – co-producer of “Home Games” (dir. A. Kovalenko). The best project at International Human Rights Film Festival DocudaysUA 2016 and Odessa International Film Festival 2016. Co-operation with Guardian Documentary, IDFA Bertha Fund and Ukrainian State Film Agency.

Home Games”

“Home Games” is a story about one year in the of life of Alina, a 20-year old girl from the Kiev suburbs. A year in which she goes through a number of new experiences her difficult adult life brings her.

Nevertheless, Alina is able to resist the adversities thanks to her passion for football, which helps her make her way up from the streets to the national youth team. Before she turned 18, Alina became one of the best female football players in her country. She is now, however, forced to return to her family – her alcoholic mother, who having left prison, gave birth to two more children – Alina’s younger siblings. She wasn’t a good parent, though. When the children went to first grade, they couldn’t count on any support from adults. Their mother was still a drinker and would disappear from home quite often. Their blind grandmother wasn’t able to help either. Alina finds herself going through a hard time and realizes that besides her, nobody cares about it. The situation becomes extremely dramatic when Alina’s mother dies at the age of 39, bereaving a five-person family who live in a small, one-room flat. Alina gives up on her training to look after her younger siblings. Football has now become overshadowed by other worries. The situation at home gets worse and worse. Money saved for their grandmother’s eye surgery is swallowed up by the funeral costs. To cap it all, the kids’ father loses his job, which makes him drink more.

Should Alina take their mother’s place for her brother and sister? Should she save her family or perhaps pursue her athletic dreams? Is she ready to make such a decision? After all, she’s only 20!




Young Ukraine - a documentary


Ksenya Marchenko

Born 15.09.1989 in Cherkasy (Ukraine).


2006 – 2010 – bachelor – journalism at The Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy

2010 – 2012 – studies at The Mohyla School of Journalism

2015 – attendance in documentary workshop during „Kyiv Biennial 2015”

2016 – participation in the photography workshop in Bird in Flight Photoschool.

Work experience:

2013 – 2015 - ТСН 1+1 coresspondent

2015 – 2016 – journalist and co-worker of documentary project


2015 – „War in Kiev” co-author of film mabe under the artistic supervision of Artur Zmijewski (documentary school „Kyiv Biennial 2015”)

2015 – 2016 - author of documentary pictures to the project “Reality” (Russia)

2015 – 2016 – documentation of nationalist social movements in Kiev

2016 - “Down, There Are Quietly”, documentary in the frames of „My Street Films„

2016 - “My punk-holidays”, documentary web series for

2016 - “Celebration of Annextion. Whose is the Crimea?” documentary triptych for Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig (in the frames of exhibition „Sentsov’s Camera”).

Hold on, Just Hold on

Serhiy had always been surrounded by lots of girls, yet Oksana proved the most persistent of all. She’d been trying to win his heart long before she eventually succeeded. To do that she had even lost weight. Soon after they tied the knot, war broke out in Eastern Ukraine. Serhiy went to the frontline. After a few months he returned home without a leg. In such circumstances he lets Oksana decide about their future. The girl, however, does not give up and wants to keep their relationship going at any cost. She is studying, working, taking care of herself, home and husband. Serhiy, in turn, has become passive and frustrated: wasting most of his time playing computer games. Oksana does anything she can to motivate him to live a normal life. Eventually Serhiy accepts the challenge and begins to practice swimming, hoping to become a member of the Paralympic National Team. When he is close to meeting the Olympic criteria, the nearest swimming pool closes down.

Will Serhiy give up on his dream and become apathetic again? Or will he find motivation to live? He and Oksana are thinking of having a child. Will a baby bring them closer together? Are they able to deal with additional responsibilities? Will their love stand the test of time?




Young Ukraine - a documentary


Yuriy Shylov

Born 30.07.1990 in Kiev (Ukraine).


Graduated from Kiev National Theatre, Film and Television University named after I. Karpenko-Kary (direction department, department W.D. Osielidczyk).

Work experience:

- a teacher at the university (acting)

- attendant of programme DocWorks: UA/UK in Sheffield.

- film „Projectionist” is co-financed by Ukrainian State Film Agency


2015 - „The Weight” short feature – award at International Festival of State Institute of Cinematography

2016 - „Panorama” – short documentary – awards at: International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA, Odessa International Film Festival, Kyiv International Short Film Festival,

The Projectionist

Valentyn is a projectionist. He has been working for 44 years in one of the oldest cinemas in the centre of Kiev. It is his last year at work and the first year in retirement. The action takes place in the projectionist’s booth in which, through a tiny window, you can see a screen with big events projected on it, such as love, war and politics. Valentyn uses one hand to operate the equipment and the other to raise a glass of liquor in the company of his friend - an Afghanistan war veteran. He dances with a casting company’s girls, who rented an office next door. He cuts hair for his 80-year-old friend, who can’t afford a hair-dresser. Valentyn is an eccentric, energetic and communicative person. He is in the centre of attention and feels that everyone needs him.

Nothing changes until one day a fire breaks out in the cinema and Valentyn is forced to retire. He lives in a small old house on the outskirts of Kiev, where he looks after his bedridden mother 24 hours a day. He feeds her, washes her and changes her diapers. He encounters countless hardships in his life which he always tries to overcome with a smile. One day he celebrates his birthday wearing a plastic crown outdoors, accompanied by his neighbours whom he’s known since he was a child. He can only do that when his mother is asleep. After that he rushes home.

What Valentyn really struggles with, however, is coming to terms with his retirement and old age.




Young Ukraine - a documentary


Svetlana Grigorenko

Born 07.05.1990 in Sviatilovka (Poltava Oblast).


- master degree of sociology and law

- the course of journalism

- student of documentary direction during the workshop of Sergey Bukovsky

Work experience:

2012 – creator and organizer of Video Poetry Youth Festival „Poetry In Shot. Classic”.


2015 - ”Happy Easter” (presentation at International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA and Minsk International Film Festival „Listopad”).

Mum, I Have Memories to Share with You

Wind... I recall a recurring dream I had when I was a child. It also began with the wind. And there was water, too. And the rustling cane. I see three people on the sea: two of them on a raft, the third one tries to hold on to the oars and get on the raft. Next, I go up in the air and I see my five year-old self with my grandma on the raft, and you are following us in the water... You are trying to get on the raft, but when you do, the raft starts to sink. I’m terrified. But grandma is calm, even smiling. You take me by my hand and I feel that you’re both wet and warm. I want you to stay with us, but if you do, the raft will sink. I ask you to wait for us on the shore – we will get there soon. But you’re stubborn and you still want to get on the raft. And the raft is sinking!

Why do I dream this dream? Mum! I want to talk with you.

This film is the author’s very personal attempt at coming to terms with a motherless childhood.




Young Ukraine - a documentary


Maxym Rudenko

Born 24.06.1975 in Nikolaev (Ukraine).


2005 – attendant the course of photography at Academy of Classic Photography (Moscow)

2008 – course of the direction at Film and Television School (Moscow)

2009 – English studies at International School YMCA (Montreal)

2014 –The Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK), photography department

Work experience:

2009 – 2010 - Patriot Rental House, television „SITI”, MMG Production, Activision Production - cameraman


2007 – „I Did What I Wanted”

2008 – „Between the Volf and the Dog”

2009 – „Serhiej Jakutovich. My Gogol”

2010 – „He Was Here”

2010 – „The Sail”

2011 – „About Stalker”

2011 – „I+”

2012 – „Double”

2012 – „The Caste”

2012 – „The History of Our Company”

2013 – „Based on „Idiot””

2014 – „The Settlement”

2016 – „In Detachement”

Sergey Volkov

Born 01.06.1980 in Kharkiv (Ukrainie).


2009 – graduated from Kiev National University of Culture and Art, photography department

2013 – post graduate student at Kiev National Theatre, Film and Television University named after I. Karpenko-Kary(direction)

Work experience:

2009-2010 – assistant at Kiev National University of Culture and Art

2010 – 2014 – teacher at Kiev National Theatre, Film and Television University named after I. Karpenko-Kary

The member of Ukrainian Association of Cinematographers.


2007 – „2061”

2007 – „The Spiral of History”

2008 - „The Prophet”

2009 – „The Temple of Dreams”

2013 – „The Masquerade”

2014 – „The Sculptures Made by Lucjanus”

2014 – „The Gas Pistol”

2014 – „The Wall”

2016 – „In Detachement”

Looking into the Darkness

Vitaly is a professional soldier and engineer, a retired Ukrainian army colonel. Ten years ago, he served in the peace contingent in Iraq, and in 2014 he was one of the first to volunteer for the war in Donbas, where he lost his sight as a result of a missile explosion. Blindness is degrading and humiliating for the soldier as it has made him completely helpless and useless. Vitaly feels that his life is over.

Another of our characters, Denis, who has been blind since childhood, has a completely different attitude. Perhaps that is why he has perfectly mastered the art of functioning in society despite his disability. He completed his studies, he works and earns good money, he makes full use of technological innovations and tries to live life to the fullest.

Recently, he met Vitaly and decided to help him. Patiently and with dedication he introduces him to the world of the blind. He teaches him the new life step by step, he leads him through the darkness, helps him adapt to it. Life in the darkness begins to have meaning and purpose.




Young Ukraine - a documentary


Zhanna Maksymenko-Dovhych

Born 08.08.1977 in Kiev (Ukraine).


Graduated from journalism at Kiev National University named after Taras Shevchenko

Work experience:

She worked in Ukrainian TV channels as a producer, director and editor.


2009 - "Dazzle Dreams in Nepal", music - documentary, script, direction, MTV Ukraine

2011 - "Pants", feature, 7'50”, almanac "Mudaky Arabesky", scripts, direction

2012 - "One Day of Euro", documentary, 51', channel "Ukraine", script

2013 - "House with Chimeras", documentary, 16', almanac "Open Access", direction

2014 - "Under the Bridge", documentary, 6’, almanac “Ukraine_voices", direction

2014 - 2016 - "Jakub’s Century", feature - historical mini-series, channel ”1+1”, redaction, consultant

2016 - “Indestructible. Igor Branovitski”, 19’, documentary, STB, scripts, redaction

Nina’s War

Nina Branovitska is a normal woman. She’s retired, but she works part-time as a cleaning lady. Before that she was a morgue technician. Two years ago her older son volunteered for the war in Donbas. Since that moment her life has changed completely.

Igor Branovitski was one of the last soldiers to defend the airport in Donetsk. He stayed with the seriously wounded until the last moment. Together with them, he was captured. Nina sees her son covered in blood and being interrogated by the separatists on the Internet. After long weeks of uncertainty, the hope of her son coming back home dies. Igor is killed during tortures by the separatist leader, the infamous “Motorola”. It is only after two months of search and negotiation that Nina finally manages to bury her son. Since that moment she has been conducting her own investigation into the circumstances surrounding her son’s death. Together with the lawyers she meets the former captives, witnesses to war crimes and everyone who might help her track the last hours and minutes of her son’s life. This is her main purpose in life now. She visits the cemetery every day. There she meets her new family – the parents of other victims.

Nina still has a younger son, Yuriy. But filled with pain, she has completely lost sight of him. Yuriy was never like his brother Igor. He was always in his older brother’s shadow. Perhaps that’s why he couldn’t find his way in life and became a drug addict.

Nina, suffering the loss of her elder son, doesn’t see that the other son is losing his way. Maybe reaching out to Yuriy and connecting with him emotionally would bring Nina some peace? She can’t save Igor anymore. But she can save Yuriy.




Young Ukraine - a documentary


Vladimir Yermakov

Born 29.05.1986 in Kharkiv (Ukraine).


2002 – Kharkiv Patent and Computer Collage

2007 - Kharkiv State Technical University of Civil Engineering and Architecture

Work experience:

2006 – 2012 – designer (architecture, DPT, industrial design)

2009 – 2015 – photography - freelancer

2011 – 2013 – co-operation in realisation of advertisements (director and cameraman)


2011 - 2013 – corporate and individual advertisement

2014 – „The Heroes Don’t Die” documentary - cameraman

2014 – 2015 – „Strong Society of Donetsk” documentary in the frames of project ”Ukrazians” - cameraman

2015 - 2016 – documentary about music band SHANA - director and cameraman

2015 – 2016 – „Metanoya” cycle of TV programmes - cameraman

2016 – cycle of reports „The Aspects of War” for 1 Channel of State TV.

The Return

Sloviansk is a city touched by war. The war lasted for 84 days and it ended more than two years ago. Two years might seem like long enough to forget the atrocities of war, heal the wounds and get back to normal life. However, traces of war are still visible on the city squares and on the buildings. But more serious are the wounds left in people’s souls. These heal much harder. Having seen the atrocities of war, people realize how fragile and uncertain peace is. How easy it is to break it. Material damage – even that not repaired by people – will take care of itself. In the worst case scenario the grass will hide it. But what about the fractures in people’s hearts? Children from Sloviansk keep playing the game of funerals.




Young Ukraine - a documentary


Vladyslav Kamenskyy

Born 08.08.1986 in Zhytomyr (Ukraine).


2013 – course of documentary photography in PhotoDepartment in Sankt Petersburg

2016 – course of documentary at Biskops Arnö Dokumentär (Sweden)

Work experience:

He worked as a photographer in Copenhagen (Denmark).

2014 – co-worker of the film „Place, Which We Call The House”.


2016 – „Hold me Tight” short documentary. It was presented at Sveriges Kort Films Festival and Uppsala International Short Film Festival.

2016 – „Debris Flow”, film about the reasons and consequences of the flood in Georgia in 2015r, film is in post-production.

The Saucepan

We watch the academic-artistic elites of the Ukrainian emigration in Sweden and reflect on the differences in the mentalities of the societies these people left behind, and those in which they found a new home. What came from the collision of Slavic exuberance and spontaneity with the Scandinavian coolness and composure? What did they leave and reject and what did they bring to the new environments. Who do they feel they are there? What are their current relations with Ukraine? Can they and do they want to affect the fate of their country?

The filmmaker asks his characters these and other questions. He asks himself the same questions. The task he has set himself is to express emotions, longings, desires, frustrations, hopes – not only with words, but above all through images. The author intuitively looks for a way to express the issues that he himself is concerned with.




Young Ukraine - a documentary


Yuliia Hontaruk

Born 06.03.1987 in Kiev (Ukraine).


2009 – National Technical University of Ukraine (engineer of thermal energy)

2007 – 2012 – studies of direction at Kiev National Theatre, Film and Television University named after I. Karpenko-Kary (direction department, department M. I. Pavlov)

Work experience:

Co-founder of creative union „Babylon 13”.


2013 – „Alcoholic”, feature for Derzhkino (National Archive) awards: Grand Prix at KIN International Women's Film Festival in Armenia, Best short documentary at Delhi International Film Festival 2013 in India, best characterisation and costumes at Festival Internacional de Curta Metraxes de Bueu in Spain. Film was presented at over 20 international film festivals.

2013 – 2016 – about 35 shorts documentaries for „Babylon 13”. One of them, „Native Home”, was included into the film „Euromaidan. Without Editing” and it was the revelation of International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA.

2014 - “Stronger than Weapon”, co-director of documentary, „Babylon 13”, awards: Bronze Medal at VII International London Film Festival „Passion For Freedom”

2016 - “Ten Secunds”, documentary, „Babylon 13”. Andrei Matrosov Award at International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA, Silver Medal at Rivne International Film Festival “Dream City”, Best documentary at Kaniv Fest, presentation at ArtDokFest.

Three Sisters

This is a story about my mum and her two sisters.

It is a film about friendship and disappointment, loneliness and old age, about how time changes people and how it can change love to hate, even for your own sister.

Life has changed them – old friends became strangers. How did it come about that, in their retirement age, each of them feels lonely, bitter, forgotten and useless? Should they rather not act together to address these feelings, to support each other and together soothe their fears? There was nothing between them really that would justify the current hostility. They hurt each other, taking no notice of the fact that there may not be enough time for apologies. Will the sisters find a common understanding and will they be able to forgive each other?

They come to a village, to the house of their childhood, and that’s where the most interesting part begins...




Young Ukraine - a documentary


Polina Kelm

Born 30.12.1979 in Kiev (Ukraine).


2010 –direction at Kiev National Theatre, Film and Television University named after I. Karpenko-Kary

Work experience:

2012 – acting in Oleksandr Balagura‘s film „Object Living Time in Frame”


2005 – „The Rain”, script (the best script in the „Prologue” competition)

2007 – „The House”, special prize at “Cinema” Centre of Young Filmmakers at festival “STARTIV” in Baku (Azerbaijan)

2012 – „One Step”, documentary almanac “Beyond The Euro”

2014 – „Positive”, documentary (presented at: International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA(Ukraine); Atlanta Philosophy Film Festival (USA); Cracow Film Festival (Poland); Gdansk DocFilm Festival (Poland); Jihlava Documentary Film Festival (Czech Republic); DOK Leipzig (Germany), The Grand OFF Festival (Poland); Hot Docs (Canada). Film was nominated to the award of Ukrainian Association of Cinematographers in “the best non-feature film” section (2014)).

The Elves’ Tower

Sergei is a film director with a huge passion for theatre. He believes that art can change the world for the better. Recently, he’s made a psychiatric facility a testing area for this. He is working with patients in occupational therapy on the staging of a fairytale drama “The Elves’ Tower” written by one of them. With great patience, insight and understanding, he responds to their quirks and limitations, he skillfully stirs their creative passions. He does not avoid intellectual proximity with the inmates. He tries to make their relationships mutually beneficial and he gets good results. He allows their roles on stage and in life to merge, creating a conglomerate of personality and blurring the boundaries between the real and the fictional worlds, between normality and mental illness.