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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, March 13, 2011, 9:00 AM ET

    New Film Festival on the Block: Kinofest NYC
    The Spotlight is on Foreign Films from Ukraine
    By Hanya Krill

    Kinofest NYC Logo

    Kinofest NYC
    March 16-20, 2011

    Screening locations:
    The Ukrainian Museum
    222 East 6th Street
    (btw 2nd and 3rd Aves)

    Millennium Film Workshop
    66 East 4th Street
    (bet Bowery & 2nd Ave)

    Admission: $10
    Order tickets online:

    The subtitle in a recent article by New York Times film critic A.O. Scott read "American Audiences Might Not Know It, But We're Living in a Golden Age of Foreign Films." Scott's complaint was that the Academy—despite the proliferation of not just foreign film, but good foreign film—doggedly sticks to its one-film-per-country rule, thus giving the unbalanced perception of Hollywood über alles. Yet for film festival hounds in search of the latest in independent film, the choices are virtually endless. And access to foreign films, especially here in New York City, is just a matter of picking up the current issue of The Village Voice or Time Out New York.

    One fresh source for independent foreign film screenings is coming up this week – Kinofest NYC, a film festival that "celebrates independent cinema from Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries." In its second year and still a newbie, the festival is gaining traction because of its unique mission of featuring Ukrainian independent film, as well as presenting the work of filmmakers from surrounding regions (one-film-per-country rule does not apply!). Keep an eye on Kinofest NYC as it joins the ranks of other significant East European forums in New York, such as the Bulgarian, New York Polish, Romanian, and Bosnian-Herzegovinian film festivals.

    2011 Program Highlights

    Venue: Millennium Film Workshop
    Session co-sponsored by The Ukrainian Museum
    I am from Nowhere
    Directed by Georg Misc, Slovak/English (w/Eng. subtitles), Slovakia, 2002, 79 min.
    When asked about his origin, Andy Warhol used to say "I am from nowhere." Nowhere is actually the tiny village Mikova in Slovakia where all of Warhol's ancestors lived. Novelist and political scientist Alexander Motyl (Who Killed Andrei Warhol, 2007) identifies him as Rusyn-Ukrainian, a common ethnicity in that region. Georg Misch's quirky, entertaining, and informative documentary investigates the fuss the media has made about Warhol's relatives who still live there, Warhol-related media fame, and Warhol's legendary "15 minutes of fame."
    A photo exhibit opening and reception precedes the film screening: Slavs of New York: Andy Warhol's Nowhere curated by Cynthia von Buhler. Photographs of Andy Warhol taken by Anton Perich and Sebastian Piras; photos of other notable figures of Ukrainian descent by Kyle Cassidy, and works by other photographers.

    Venue: Millennium Film Workshop
    The Pied Piper of Hutzovina
    Directed by Pavla Fleischer, Ukrainian/Russian/English (w/Eng. subtitles), 2006, 65 min.
    This documentary chronicles a road trip through Ukraine by the filmmaker and Eugene Hutz, frontman and lead singer of New York's Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello. Hutz's purpose is to rediscover his Romani (Gypsy) roots and learn the secrets of Gypsy music. The filmmaker's aim is to rediscover a forgotten romance. The result is a story of two people traveling together on two very different yet convergent courses.

    Venue: The Ukrainian Museum
    Disco and Atomic War
    Directed by Jaak Kilmi, Estonian (w/Eng. subtitles), Estonia, 2010, 80 min.
    A tongue-in-cheek documentary about growing up in the Estonian capital of Tallinn during the waning days of the Cold War. The filmmaker comically recounts how Estonians discovered the American series Dallas via television transmissions from Helsinki, Finland, and how the Communist leadership haplessly attempted to 'protect' their citizens from the corrupting influence of televised capitalist decadence. A lot of wonderful chest-pounding Soviet government footage mixed with clips of ordinary Estonians jerryrigging their TV antennas.

    THURSDAY MARCH 17 7:00PM Venue: The Ukrainian Museum
    Torn from the Flag
    Directed by Klaudia Kovac, Hungarian/English (w/Eng. subtitles), USA, 2007, 96 min.
    This incisive sociopolitical and historical documentary covers the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the ensuing international decline of communism with both archival footage and interviews with then youthful revolutionaries, Russia's Budapest-based troop commander and other historical notables. The extensive interviews span across the US, Hungary, Russia and Italy supplying viewers with lots of new information on behind-the-scenes political dramas leading up to and shortly after the revolution. This film garnered 8 film festival awards worldwide and participated in the 2009 Oscar competition in the "Best Documentary" category.

    SUNDAY MARCH 20 5:00PM (closing session)
    Venue: The Ukrainian Museum
    Man with the Movie Camera
    Directed by Dziga Vertov, silent, Ukraine, 1929, 65 min.
    This stunning work remains a perfect distillation of the sense of urban existence. Composed of footage from Kyiv, Moscow and Odesa, the film shows everyday people at work and at play, from dawn to dusk, interacting with the machinery of modern life. In the style of other "city symphony" films of the 1920's, events are arranged to simulate the passage of a single day through a deliberate sequencing of events. Produced by Dziga Vertov (Denis Arkadievich Kaufman) at the Pan-Ukrainian Committee of Cinema and Photography (VUFKU) in 1929, the film serves as a reminder that he is one of the greatest pioneer filmmakers.
    Dr. Yuri Shevchuk, founder of the Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University, will introduce the film and lead the Q&A. Guest speaker Annette Michelson, Professor Emeritus at New York University and editor of a translation of Dziga Vertov's writings, will talk about the film and its production studio, VUFKU. Serhiy Trymbach, head of the National Filmmakers Union of Ukraine, will discuss the latest developments in the Ukrainian film industry.
    Closing session reception follows the screening and Q&A.

    A series of film shorts, including Murat Mamedov's Adam and Eve, describing the hardships of living as a coal miner in eastern Ukraine, Maxym Vasyanovych's Mom Died On Saturday in the Kitchen, a personal story of love and loss, and Tatiana Korol's Akbulak, a story of immigration and return, set in Kazakhstan.

    Hanya Krill heads the film program at The Ukrainian Museum in New York.

    Copyright © 1997-2011 BRAMA, Inc. All rights reserved.
    The images and information contained in BRAMA News and BRAMA Press reports may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of BRAMA and/or author/photographer. The views and opinions of authors expressed on do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Brama - Gateway Ukraine or its officers, directors or associates.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


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    Timothy Snyder: Ukrainian History, European Future. Timothy D. Snyder is a well-known historian and professor of history at Yale University. Speaking at the National University 'Kyiv-Mohyla Academy' on May 15, 2014 on deep connection and strong bonds between Ukrainian and European history.

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