Please Welcome the 20th Travelling Docudays UA in 2023!

Please Welcome the 20th Travelling Docudays UA in 2023!

10 October 2023

Please Welcome the 20th Travelling Docudays UA in 2023!

The Travelling Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is going to travel the country! The 20th Festival will be held in October through December. It will begin in Poltava with the first open screening on 17 October and visit 22 regions of Ukraine. Screenings, discussions and installations will also take place abroad in Ireland, Norway, Poland, and Germany for Ukrainian communities.


The films of the Travelling Docudays UA are truthful and important stories about the relevant challenges of today: triumph of justice, environmental problems, preservation of cultural heritage. The film screenings and discussions will be held at cinemas, houses of culture, schools and universities, film clubs and creative spaces, bookstores, libraries, and penitentiary institutions.


On 10 October, the Travelling Festival held a press conference. The participants of the conversation included Svitlana Smal, Executive Director of NGO Docudays; Kateryna Sinhurova, guest coordinator of the Travelling Docudays UA; Ksenia Shymanska, Director of the Human Rights Department of NGO Docudays; Ilona Korotitsyna, Director of the Vgoru Media Platform, who announced special screenings of the film Kherson Unconquered; and Dmytro Hreshko, director of the opening film King Lear: How We Looked for Love During the War.


A still from the film King Lear: How We Looked for Love During the War


The central topic of the 20th Docudays UA, Image of the Future, is what we should imagine and start implementing right now. It is a conversation about justice, the inevitable punishment of the perpetrators of war crimes, documentation of the evidence of their victims and destruction. It is about how to deal with trauma, how to preserve the memory of family and friends who have died in this war and convey it to the next generations. It is about rebuilding after our victory without plastic swans and painted tires on lawns and playgrounds. It is about how to truly modernise our cities, towns and villages, make them beautiful, comfortable, modern, accessible, oriented towards pedestrians — old and young, and those injured by the war. It is a conversation about how to clean our waters and lands from pollution and the mines which the occupiers leave here in huge numbers.


How can each of us help rebuild Ukraine? What kind of support can Ukraine expect? Among other things, we will search for answers in the Lugano Declaration. “Its basis are the seven Lugano Principles,” said the former President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis. “They define the beginning of the process of recovery, the criteria and methods of recovery.” We will discuss all this during the festival and try to articulate the new Ukrainian dream in dialogue.


The theme of the 20th Docudays UA is creatively reflected in the main festival teaser. It was created by Ukrainian artist Mykola Lyskov based on his own animation Imagined Landscape. The soundtrack for the video was written by Ukrainian musician Anton Baybakov.



This year we chose a minimalist design: just a blank white sheet of paper. To eliminate any obstacles for people to paint their own image of the future, their own dream in their minds. To emphasise the expressiveness of this design idea, we created a special font, designed by Dmytro Rastvortsev. We believe that every city, town and village will have its own unique images for this blank (for now) sheet of paper.

The future is impossible without the knowledge of history, so the festival team has prepared a special project dedicated to the Travelling Docudays UA’s 20 years of history. It is a collection of 5 conversations with regional coordinators and founders of the festival: emotional stories about how it all began and which iconic Ukrainian filmmakers and films have been part of the Festival’s history. You can read the interviews every two weeks on our website.


From the programme of the titular Docudays UA festival, which took place in June in Kyiv, we have picked 19 films from 13 countries: Ukraine, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Ireland, UK, USA, and Canada. 7 Ukrainian and 12 foreign films, 9 features and 10 shorts. 6 of the international films share roots with our context: they were made in co-production between Ukrainians and German, Polish, and American partners.


The programme also includes films about the Ukrainian present through the eyes of foreign artists. In particular, a perspective on the history of the Holodomor in Ukraine by the French filmmaker Guillaume Ribot.


The opening film of the 20th Travelling Docudays UA is King Lear: How We Looked for Love During the War by Dmytro Hreshko. The film is about internally displaced people who ended up in Uzhgorod and staged a Shakespearean tragedy under the leadership of a local director. The stage director observes the transformation of the protagonists who rediscover themselves in tragic circumstances. He also rediscovers himself: suddenly he sees a way to implement his old dream in the chaos of the war.


The special event this year is screenings of the film Kherson Unconquered from our partner, Vgoru Media Platform. It is a film about the work of Kherson journalists. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the publication’s reporters have been capturing everything that has been happening in the city. Together with other Khersonians, they survived the city’s capture by the Russians, protest rallies, occupation, and liberation of their hometown. The film presents unique footage showing what the past year and a half have been like for Kherson and its residents.


A still from the film Kherson Unconquered


12 films from the programme of the 20th Travelling Docudays UA have had bright festival runs, received awards and special mentions. In particular, at Berlinale and in the International Feature-length Competition of Visions du Réel in Switzerland (In Ukraine); at IDFA and CPH:DOX in Copenhagen (Apolonia, Apolonia); at the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in the Czech Republic and at the Millenium Docs Against Gravity festival in Warsaw (Young Plato); at the Festival Dei Popoli in Italy (Gorgona); at DOK Leipzig and the Duisburg Film Week in Germany (Three Women); in the National Competition of FIPADOC (Seeds of Hunger); and at HotDocs in Toronto (the 4 winners of Civil Pitch 2.0).


The full list of documentaries presented at the 20th Travelling Docudays UA can be found on our website in the Programme section.


The festival events in cities, towns and villages of Ukraine will be visited by directors and protagonists of documentaries — both Ukrainian and international authors, who have been invited to live discussions of their films together with their audiences.


In partnership with the RIGHTS NOW! Human Rights Programme, there will be at least three discussions in different Ukrainian regions: in Ivano-Frankivsk, Kremenchuk, and Uzhhorod.


We will discuss several topics: The World after Russia, or Living next to the Aggressor: What should we be prepared for in 5, 10, 15 years?; Victory: What next?; About the Tools for Citizen Participation in Decision Making about Ukraine’s Rebuilding. We invite everyone to join the discussions.


In addition, as a part of the DOCU/SYNTHESIS Interdisciplinary Art Programme, the travelling festival will present an audio installation based on a project by the Lviv Urban History Centre, Documenting the Experiences of War: Diaries and Dreams of the War. The project, which captures personal experiences and feelings, will be interesting both to the broader audience and to researchers of history and anthropology as well as the art community.


Almost all of the films in the festival programme of the 20th Docudays UA will have descriptive subtitles, and 8 films will have audio descriptions.


In the conditions of the war, the safety of our viewers is our priority, so we will only hold offline public events in places where we can ensure safety. More details about the events will be announced by the festival’s regional coordinators, in weekly publications on the Travelling Festival’s Facebook page and on our website.


For more detailed information about the event, partnerships, and to organise interviews, please email Kseniia Opria (Boiko), Communications Manager of the Travelling Docudays UA, at [email protected]



Non-governmental Organisation Docudays

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Charity Organisation Charity and Health Fund

NGO Centre for Modern Information Technology and Visual Arts


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.


Docudays is a non-profit non-governmental organisation which realises cultural and educational projects on the intersection of cinema and human rights in Ukraine and abroad. These projects include the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival and the Travelling Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, the DOCU/CLUB Network of Human Rights Media Education Film Clubs, the RIGHTS NOW! Human Rights Programme, the DOCUSPACE Online Cinema, the DOCU/PRO Platform for the development of the Ukrainian film industry and the DOCU/CLASS Documentary Workshop, the DOCU/SYNTHESIS Interdisciplinary Art Programme, and the Ukraine War Archive, launched in cooperation with the INFOSCOPE initiative.

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