Round Table Discussion: Defending Freedom – Support for Ukraine
Olga Kozhema (Filmmakers for Ukraine), Marc Wilkins (Director, Screenwriter, Producer) via Zoom, Oliver Zenglein (Crew United - Filmmakers for Ukraine), Natalia Libet (Filmproducer, Ukrain)
Host: Stefan Müller
Dramatic images and news from Ukraine reach us daily. Russia is waging war against its neighboring country, catapulting the rest of the world into a serious crisis. The cruel attack against the Ukrainian civilian population has already cost thousands of lives and plunges millions into flight and despair. For all the consternation of the West, this is a war in the distance with an abstract idea of what it means to be threatened by death on a daily basis.
Culture and its actors stand in the shadow of this war. The question of how to deal with the situation must and will also be asked by a film festival in Frankfurt.
In a video message at the opening of the exhibition: "This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom" at the Venice Biennale, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj emphasized the importance of art as a medium for discourse on the war.
Our intention is to give a forum to directly affected filmmakers from Ukraine. They should be given the space to share their impressions and experiences, if and how they wish. Listening to those affected is at the center of this.
In a further step, however, information is also to be provided about offers of help.
Those who contribute to improving the situation of those affected should also have their say. One example of this is the "Filmmakers for Ukraine" initiative. Crew United has created this central platform for all Ukrainians affected by the war in order to bring together people outside and inside Ukraine.
This panel will also be broadcast online:
12 May 2022
Olga Kozhema is information coordinator for the "Filmmakers for Ukraine" initiative. She is a second generation filmmaker from Ukraine producing movies, TV-shows, and commercials.
Marc Wilkins Born in 1976 in Bern, Switzerland. Joint Swiss and British citizenship. He lives and works between Zurich and Kyiv as a screenwriter and is known for his award-winning short film BON VOYAGE (2016), which screened at numerous international film festivals and won the Swiss Film Award for Best Short Film as well as the award for Best Live Action Short Over 15 Minutes at Palm Springs International ShortFest. THE SAINT OF THE IMPOSSIBLE is his first feature-length film.
Oliver Zenglein is founder and managing director of the Film-Network Crew United. Together with Crew United Europe staff, he founded the Filmmakers for Ukraine platform shortly after the war began. Initiated for those seeking help from Ukraine, so they can find out about current and verified offers of help from all over Europe. For people who want to get involved, the site also offers a overview with numerous contact points.
Natalia Libet has gained experience in co-production, investment and finance while working for international companies primarily of the U.S. and German origin. Now, she works as a film producer. In 2019-2021, she brought First Cut Lab to Ukraine; her first local initiative was with EAVE in Demand in 2017. She is a winner of 2000 Edmund Muskie/Freedom Support Act Graduate Fellowship Award, a member of Ukrainian Film Academy, an alumna of EURODOC. In 2022, Natalia is an Emerging Producer with Ji.Hlana IDFF and a Producer Under the Spotlight at Marché du Film. Natalia's filmography as a a producer includes “Stop-Zemlia” (2021, directed by Kateryna Gornostai, premiered and awarded at Berlinale Generation).
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