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"Come si fa a partecipare a una chiamata zoom dopo aver trascorso tutta la mattina nel rifugio sotto pesanti attacchi missilistici?"

Rapporto industria: Documentario

Oleksandra Kravchenko • Produttrice, Moon Man

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La produttrice ucraina ci racconta com'è cambiato il suo lavoro durante la guerra che si sta svolgendo nel suo Paese

Oleksandra Kravchenko  • Produttrice, Moon Man

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

An interview with Oleksandra Kravchenko, producer for Ukrainian company Moon Man, now selected for the 2024 Emerging Producers programme. Read her EP profile here.

Why do you produce documentaries? Do you see documentary cinema as an instrument of social and political change?
Oleksandra Kravchenko:
I think that the question of documentary cinema being an instrument of social and political change is rather a question of faith – because it rarely brings fast and obvious changes. In general, documentary cinema rather creates impulses. And I believe that this is in fact crucial. Even though one film might not change a lot, continuous reflection of the ways we humans exist and interact over different levels of reality, brought by documentaries, is what makes changes happen.

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How do you achieve and maintain work-life balance and foster overall well-being?
It’s already a cliche, but in Ukraine people are currently busy maintaining a war-life balance, work ceasing to be in opposition to life. Questions on our agenda are: how can you just casually jump in on a zoom call after spending all morning since 4 a.m. in the shelter or corridor under heavy missile strikes? Or, will you make it to the office before the next air raid alert that suspends public transportation for hours? People deal with stress very differently, but even those who are highly adaptive get exhausted soon enough. For me, work definitely became a crucial part of well-being during the war, because it helps to feel purposeful and engaged. I am lucky to have amazing people in my work environment in Ukraine and beyond, who are also warm and supportive, and this ‘Ukrainian togetherness’ that became sort of a national brand since the full scale invasion comes largely from communities of people doing different work together. At the same time I am a big believer in taking care of yourself and consciously maintaining and nurturing one’s will for life and joy. Psychotherapy, physical activities and never (well, almost never) working on the weekends.

Where do you find audiences for your films?
Audiences for my films are mostly to be found at the festivals and cultural showcases. There’s of course online distribution that developed immensely since the pandemic, bringing to life numerous VOD platforms for all kinds of audiences. It’s been also a challenge to attract domestic audiences to the Ukrainian films, but actually since 2022 despite the crisis in Ukrainian film industry, Ukrainian films that were made before invasion and released after attracted a record number of domestic viewers. Too bad that we soon won’t be having enough Ukrainian releases to maintain this emerging demand.

What projects do you have underway (including fiction films and other projects)?
At this year's Berlinale's Forum our production Moon Man presents the world premiere of The Editorial Office [+leggi anche:
recensione
intervista: Roman Bondarchuk
scheda film
]
by Roman Bondarchuk. This is a fiction film produced by Darya Bassel, that I line-produced. It is very special to me, because it was inspired by and shot in Kherson region, in the south of Ukraine, where I was born and raised, and which was occupied by the Russian army just a few months after we wrapped the shooting. The film, a satire, focuses on the phenomena of fake news and its poisonous effect on society and individuals.

As for the films that I produce, there is a documentary in development, Fixing the War, co-directed by Clare Stronge and Vadym Ilkov, and co-produced by Gary Lennon (Plainsong films, Ireland). In this film, we follow the backstage of the global newsmaking from the Ukrainian frontlines, putting center-frame the fixers – local producers of the media crews, indispensable yet invisible people in the core of it.  Another one is One Day I Wish to See You Happy by Maryna Nikolcheva – a very intimate story of a relationship of two filmmakers during wartime, where the documentation itself becomes the language of love. This film is co-produced by Emerging Producers 2023 alumni Florent Coulon (VraiVrai Films, France).

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EMERGING PRODUCERS is a leading promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.

Deadline for applications to the EMERGING PRODUCERS 2025 edition is 31st March 2024.

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