In October, the 14th Traveling International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA starts. This year the best human rights documentaries will be seen by the residents of more than 200 Ukrainian cities and towns. Traditionally, the Traveling Docudays UA will last until the end of December and visit 22 regions of Ukraine — the Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kirovohrad, Lviv, Luhansk, Poltava, Kherson, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Ternopil, Volyn, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Kharkiv, Vinnytsia, Odesa, Sumy, Zakarpattia, Rivne, and Khmelnytskyi regions, and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The first city to host festival screenings will be Zaporizhia.
The screening and discussion venues will include local film theaters, cultural centers, schools and higher education institutions, film clubs and creative spaces, bookstores, libraries, and penitentiary institutions. An important component of these events are discussions which will give the audience an opportunity to talk to filmmakers, invited human rights advocates, and cultural figures.
The central topic of this year’s festival is called The Four Degrees and is about the problem of climate change and environmental protection. Environmentalists predict that by the end of this century the average temperature on Earth will increase by four degrees; this will cause major natural disasters on the planet. The festivals suggests that our audience become catalyzers of change and look at the problem of environmental protection from different perspectives, not only through cinema, but also through educational events about human rights and human rights advocacy events, discussions, environmental activism.
The film Born to Be Free (directed by Gayane Petrosyan) tells us about the global whale, dolphin and walrus trade, a business full of cruelty and corruption. This courageous revealing investigation by divers and journalists received the audience prize at Docudays UA 2017. The film The Nature of My Heart (directed by Yaakko Ruuska) takes us to the forests of Finland and lets us meet the people who live in unity with wild nature. Realizing their right to the city, the residents of Istanbul oppose the commercialization of public space in the film Audience Emancipated: The Struggle for the Emek Movie Theater. The observational film Ama-San by Cláudia Varejão immerses the audience into the everyday life of the Japaneze female divers. The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov (directed by Askold Kurov) traces the story of the trial of the Ukrainian director who has been illegally imprisoned in Russia.
The moving coming of age stories are told in the films of the DOCU/YOUTH program. These include Dixie Land by Roman Bondarchuk about a remarkable child jazz band based on the Black Sea shore. This summer, the film received an award at the Odesa International Film Festival 2017 as the best Ukrainian feature-length film.
The Traveling Festival program also includes the best short films from the DOCU/SHORT and the DOCU/UKRAINE programs. The latter presents the works by young filmmakers who look closer at people, lands and ways of Ukrainian reality through the lens of their own feeling.
Special Screenings of the Traveling Docudays UA
In the film Jamala’s Struggle, the Swedish journalist Elin Jonsson recorded the life of the singer and her family in Ukraine and Crimea, telling the tragic story of one family and its present occupation-related struggles. Through a personal, strong portrait of Jamala, and through the song 1944, the film addresses historical events, the deportation of Crimean Tatars and the today’s political problem.
The War of Chimeras (by the directors Anastasia and Maria Starozhytska) is a personal story of one of the directors who reflects on her own traumatic experience of war. It is about a journey of two lovers to the frontline and their attempts at living together after everything that happened.
The Festival’s partners in Ukrainian regions are 53 leading youth, community and human rights organizations, as well as 195 Docudays UA film clubs for media education in human rights. More information on the schedule of screenings in the regions see at the official website of the Docudays UA Traveling Festival, www.traveling.docudays.org.ua.
Travelling Festival’s objective
To promote popularization and development of documentary film and to raise the level of respect for human rights in Ukraine.
Travelling Festival’s mission
We create opportunities for every person in Ukraine to watch the most talented and present-day documentary films from all over the world. This contributes to development of critical thinking, creation of active citizen position, and appreciation of highest value of human dignity. By realizing our mission we promote popularization and development of documentary film and to increase the level of respect for human rights in Ukraine.
The Festival is non-political and non-commercial.
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union;
Non-Government Оrganization Pivden;
Charity Organization Charity and Health Fund;
NGO Center for Modern Information Technologies and Visual Arts.
Ukrainian State Film Agency;
Human Rights Film Network.
International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA is supported by Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine.