KYIV MEDIA WEEK 2018 opened with a panel discussion on whether the Ukrainian cinema was successful. Well, the answer was already present in the very title – “Successful Ukrainian Films? Yes!”, so the heated debate did not happen. The participants, Ukrainian producers, agreed that the films were successful in one way or another.
Philip Illienko, Head of the State Film Agency of Ukraine, spoke about the growing success of Ukrainian films year by year. Truly speaking, there are different criteria for success: box office results and won festivals. In the latter case, we are talking about the tastes of a certain focus group, i.e. the jury, and there is no guarantee that the film will pay off the production costs.
Serhii Lavrenyuk, producer of Solar Media Entertainment, believes that it would be helpful to combine the above criteria, to make them intercross.
Yurii Minzyanov, producer of Kristi Film, makes an emphasis on government funding for the cinema in recent years, when the Ministry of Culture and the State Film Agency allocate funds. In the near future, the film direction will become a pressing issue, since there is already observed a shortage of professionals. “For 2 years, we produced 8 short films, and another two are now in production. We are invited to a huge number of festivals”, as Mr. Minzyanov shares the Kristi Film’s success.
Ivanna Dyadyura, producer of Idas International Film, raised the issue of patriotic films and marked the successful releases of “Povodyr” (The Guide) and “Nezlamna” (The Indestructible).
Philip Illienko believes that any Ukrainian film is patriotic itself, because they create a Ukrainian cultural environment, and “it is no good reducing the concept of patriotism only to films featuring war and historical heroes”.
Serhii Sozanovskiy, Co-founder of FILM.UA Group: “The ticket to successful film is the existence of film industry. And it does not exist. It should not be dependent on government funds. It is essential to work systematically on attracting private funds, distribution, product placement, etc. A few years ago, we gathered to discuss the product placement because of its scarcity. Today, it does exist. And this is great!”