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First Ukrainian film festival in Korea to kick off next week

“Toloka” (Korean Film Archive)
“Toloka” (Korean Film Archive)

A Ukrainian film festival exploring the country’s history and culture will be held for the first time in Korea next week.

Cinema Aid Ukraine, a film marathon, is scheduled to kick off Nov. 15 at the Korean Film Archive, located in Mapo-gu, western Seoul.

The film marathon project was initiated by the Ukrainian State Film Agency in May with the Ukrainian Film Academy, the Watch Ukrainian! Association, the Ukrainian Motion Picture Association, the nongovernmental organization UkrKinoFest, the Union of Entrepreneurs of the Television and Film Industry, the NGO Nareshti and the Center of Creative Industries Development.

The series of charity screenings has been held in several countries already, including the US, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Bulgaria and Kenya.

“11 Children from Morshyn” (Korean Film Archive)
“11 Children from Morshyn” (Korean Film Archive)

For audiences in Korea, four selected films will be screened during the five-day festival.

Opening film “Toloka” (2019), by director Mykhailo Illienko, is a film adaptation of a lyrical poem of the same title by national poet and independence activist Taras Shevchenko. The film revolves around Kateryna, a young woman, and three Cossacks who fall in love with her. Kateryna says she will only give a chance to the man who rescues her young brother, who has been taken prisoner in Crimea.

“Carol of the Bells” (2021), by Olesya Morgunets-Isaenko, is inspired by a popular Ukrainian folk melody and a Christmas carol. Three families -- Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish -- live together in a large mansion, but the peace is shattered when Nazis attack the area.

“DZIDZIO Contrabass” (2017), a comedy from Oleg Borshchevsky, centers on three men who get into trouble while trying to make money by smuggling.

A 2018 adventure film by Arkadiy Nepytaliuk, “11 Children from Morshyn” depicts the journey of 11 children who unite to fight back against a fraudster named Snizhana, who plots to monopolize rare minerals hidden under the small Ukrainian town.

The festival is co-hosted by the Korean Film Archive, the Ukrainian Embassy in Korea and TRA Media, a local media company that has been broadcasting the Ukrainian series “Love in Chains” and “The Sniffer” since 2021 on TVA+.

Screenings are free. For the schedule and reservations, visit the official website of the Korean Film Archive.



By Hwang Dong-hee (hwangdh@heraldcorp.com)
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