Culture News, 02/11/2020

Kharkiv MeetDocs Festival Takes Place in New Format

For the fourth consecutive year, Kharkiv MeetDocs Eastern Ukrainian Film Festival was held in Kharkiv on 26-31 October. Due to Covid-19 quarantine implications, it took place in the online format.

This was a week of free views that were accessible all over Ukraine. Two world, four Ukrainian and eight Kharkiv premieres were presented at the festival. Overall, 24 full-length and 47 short films were screened during the event.

The festival included a film screening of six national contest participants and 11 movies from the non-competitive program from Canada, Lithuania, Germany, Sweden, Syria, etc. The audience was able to watch and vote for films presented at the National Feature Documentary Competition, the Ukrainian Independent Short Film Contest called “Bardak” and the “Meet Kids,” children’s social video contest.

Masterclasses on the Zoom platform were held by Daria Onishchenko, Anna Zhyzha, Lada Sabova and Vialex Motion Lab.

The festival was opened with the “Numbers” movie directed by Oleh Sentsov and Akhtem Seitablayev. The film’s script is based on the self-titled play by Oleh Sentsov written in 2011. This film-dystopia is a story about an imprisoned society that tries to overcome its fears and gain freedom.

“Numbers” has a dramatic background. Oleh Sentsov directed the film while in a Russian prison. He gave his instructions in letters according to which Akhtem Seitablayev directed the filming process.

“The House” by Tetiana Kononenko and Matilda Mester closed the festival. The history of “The House” revolves around the Kharkiv Derzhprom building, its historical significance and modern rethinking. The film, made by the two female directors, borders on an experiment in which the building plays a leading role.

The winner of the Audience Choice category in the national contest, with a certificate for 30,000 UAH (about $1,000) from PATRIOT Rental for the rental of cameras, became “Invasion of Baikonur” movie directed by Angel Angelov.

Jury Prize, a cash award amounting to 30,000 UAH (about $1,000) from Potomu Chto (Because) agency of creative industries and communications and a certificate for Training of UAV operators course from Dronarium Ukraine, was awarded to “War Note” film directed by Roman Liubyi.

A complete list of award winners is available on the Kharkiv MeetDocs Facebook page.

The festival was supported by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, the Ukrainian State Film Agency and the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

Photo:, meetdocsfestival,