The Travelling Festival in Kirovohrad Region: On meetings with filmmakers and the value of documentary films

The Travelling Festival in Kirovohrad Region: On meetings with filmmakers and the value of documentary films

26 December 2023

The 20th Travelling Docudays took place in the Kirovohrad Region on 7–14 December. As a part of the festival, the audience watched 12 documentaries and had three meetings with filmmakers.


The central subject of this year’s Travelling Docudays UA is the Image of the Future. It is an attempt to outline the directions of the conversation about Ukraine’s recovery after the victory, and a call to develop our cities, towns, and villages while taking into account the needs of various population categories. Today and in the future, we cannot avoid the conversation about sustainable development and the war’s impact on the environment, and therefore the search for strategies to clean our waters and lands from the pollution and mines left behind by the occupiers.


On 7 December, NGO Flora joined the screening of the film Three Women in Kompaniyivka. The online guest of the conversation was the director Andriy Melnyk, and the audience participated in the discussion so enthusiastically that they barely managed to get to the next film screening on time. 


On 12 December, there was an online screening of the film Guests from Kharkiv. The director Halyna Lavrinets and producer Oleksandra Bratyshchenko. They joined the event at a moment of emotional discussion, when the audience were talking about the two worlds of the city and the people who live in rural arrears and believe that land is the most important thing that we have. One of the viewers asked if the filmmaker kept in touch with the film’s protagonists and whether the conflict around the use of the garden was resolved after the work on the film was over. The director answered: “The characters fell out completely and never reached an understanding, both sides remained outraged. A lot of time was spent restoring order in the garden. Now it is empty.” 


20th Travelling Docudays UA in the Kirovohrad Region


During the conversation, the filmmaker was also asked how she got the idea for the film. It turned out that she had been following one of the protagonists, Nadia, on social media for a while and she saw that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion her house had been filling with internally displaced people. So Halyna decided to go there and make a film.


And on 14 December, there was a screening of Forest, Forest in Kropyvnytskyi. Maria Stoianova, the film’s director, participated in the discussion with the viewers and told them how the film was created, shared her thoughts during its production, and spoke about how the vernacular film Forest, Forest was created from the archives of the Centre for Urban History in Lviv.


Today, many internally displaced people have found shelter in the Kirovohrad Region. Screenings of the Travelling Docudays UA in the Kirovohrad Region involved psychologists who commented on sensitive topics and shared the instruments that help people deal with triggers and emotions during stressful situations.


The intense week of the Travelling Docudays UA in the Kirovohrad Region in partnership with NGO Flora ended and left behind thoughts about the war’s impact on the lands and people of Ukraine. During the festival, the audiences discovered new documentary worlds where every scene is an opportunity for development, learning, and art.


Header photo: A still from the film Guests from Kharkiv


The 20th Travelling Docudays UA is held with the support of the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine, Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine, US Embassy in Ukraine. The opinions, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of the governments, charities, or companies of these countries. Responsibility for the contents of the material lies solely on its authors.

20 Travelling Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
October — December 2022