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New Ukrainian crime film La Palisiada completed


- The full-length debut by Philip Sotnychenko is set in 1996, as a forensic psychiatrist and an investigator are embroiled in the complicated story of a policeman's murder

New Ukrainian crime film La Palisiada completed
On the set of La Palisiada by Philip Sotnychenko

Ukrainian cinema is clearly still alive and kicking, even during the war. Last week, the country’s State Film Agency (also known as Derzhkino) hosted a preview screening and presentation of the film La Palisiada [+see also:
film review
interview: Philip Sotnychenko
film profile
, the feature debut by Philip Sotnychenko, a prize-winner at various Ukrainian and international film festivals.

The project for La Palisiada, written by the director himself, began its development in 2019, and filming took place throughout 2021. The project was presented for the first time at the film market of the Odesa Film Festival in 2019, where it won the Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality Award from the United Nations. The movie was created by companies VIATEL and CUC (Modern Ukrainian Cinema). The development of the project was supported by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, and financial support for the production was received from Derzhkino. The post-production was financed by the Göteborg Film Fund (Sweden).

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The events of the film take place in Ukraine in 1996, a few months before the signing of Protocol No 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights. This protocol established the abolishment of the death penalty, which Ukraine had inherited from the USSR: in fact, Ukraine had one of the highest rates of death sentences in the world. At the centre of the plot are forensic psychiatrist Oleksandr and his friend, investigator Ilhar Sabitov, who are embroiled in the complicated story of a policeman’s murder. The criminal they uncover faces the death penalty. But will their lives change after this story?

La Palisiada was shot in a special style, using a combination of celluloid images and modern digital technologies. To replicate filming in the 1990s, the filmmakers used a retro video camera, the last surviving cassettes for which were ordered from various places around the world.

The DoP on the film is Volodymyr Usyk, while Serhiy Avdeev serves as the sound director. The art director is Margarita Kulyk, the costumes are designed by Volodymyr Kuznetsov, and the producers are Valeriya Sochivets, Oleksandr Chubko, Halyna Kryvorchuk.

The main roles are played by Andrii Zhurba, Novruz Hikmet, Oleksandr Parkhomenko, Valeria Oleynikova, Olena Mamchur, Oleksandr Maleev, Stepan Barabash, Serhii Luzanovskyi and Oleksandr Mavrits.

The world premiere of the film is expected to take place in 2023.

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