Cinema of Ukraine

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Cinema of Ukraine
Ukraine film clapperboard.svg
No. of screens2,332 (2011)[1]
 • Per capita5.6 per 100,000 (2011)[1]
Main distributorsB And H 20.0%
Gemini Film 11.0%
Kinomania 7.0%[2]
Produced feature films (2009)[3]
Number of admissions (2018)[4]
National films448,400 (3.0%)
Gross box office (2011)[4]
TotalUAH 345 million (~€10.6 million)
National filmsUAH 4.62 million (~€142,000) (1.3%)
Political map of ukraine, with main cities

Ukraine has had a big influence on the history of the cinema. Prominent Ukrainian directors include Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Dziga Vertov and Serhiy Paradzhanov. Dovzhenko is often cited as one of the most important early Soviet filmmakers,[5][6] as well as being a pioneer of Soviet montage theory and founding Dovzhenko Film Studios. In 1927, Dziga Vertov moved from Moscow to Ukraine. At the film studio VUFKU he made several avant-garde documentaries, among them The Eleventh Year, Man with a Movie Camera and first Ukrainian documentary sound film Enthusiasm (Symphony of the Donbass). Paradzhanov was an Armenian film director and artist who made significant contributions to Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian cinema; he invented his own cinematic style, Ukrainian poetic cinema,[6] which was totally out of step with the guiding principles of socialist realism.

Other important directors include Kira Muratova, Larysa Shepitko, Serhiy Bondarchuk, Leonid Bykov, Yuriy Illienko, Leonid Osyka, Vyacheslav Krishtofovich, Roman Balayan, Sergiy Masloboyschikov, Ihor Podolchak and Maryna Vroda.

Many actors of Ukrainian origin have achieved international fame and critical success, including Vira Kholodna, Bohdan Stupka, Sergei Makovetsky, Mike Mazurki, Natalie Wood, Danny Kaye, Jack Palance, Milla Jovovich, Olga Kurylenko and Mila Kunis. Immigrants from Ukraine were the parents of Serge Gainsbourg, Leonard Nimoy, Vira Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga, grandparents[clarification needed] - Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Sylvester Stallone, Kirk Douglas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg, Edward Dmytryk, Lenny Kravitz and Zoë Kravitz, illusionist David Copperfield, animator Bill Tytla.

Despite a history of important and successful productions, the industry has often been characterized by a debate about its identity and the level of Russian and European influence.[7] Ukrainian producers are active in international co-productions, while Ukrainian actors, directors and crew feature regularly in Russian (and formerly Soviet) films. Successful films have been based on Ukrainian people, stories or events, including Battleship Potemkin, Man with a Movie Camera, and Everything Is Illuminated.

The Ukrainian State Film Agency owns National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Centre, film copying laboratory and archive, and takes part in hosting of the Odessa International Film Festival. Another festival, Molodist in Kyiv, is the only FIAPF accredited International Film Festival held in Ukraine; the competition program has sections for student films, first short films, and first full feature films from all over the world. It is held in October every year.

History of the cinema in Ukraine[edit]

The Ukrainian flag
Kyiv movie theatre.

On the territory of Odesa film studio, there is a Museum of the Cinema, in which you can find out about many interesting facts on the history of the cinema in general and history of Ukrainian cinema as a part. Here you can find historic materials, from the invention of cinema, to the postmodern, digital and avant garde.

Films of Ukrainian SSR by ticket sales[edit]

Ukrainian title English title Year Tickets sold (millions)
НП – Надзвичайна пригода E.A. — Extraordinary Accident 1959 47.5
У бій ідуть лише «старі» Only Old Men Are Going to Battle 1973 44.3
Вдалечінь від батьківщини Far from the Motherland 1960 42.0
Доля Марини Marina's Destiny 1954 37.9
Подвиг розвідника Secret Agent 1947 22.73

Government and civil bodies concerned[edit]

This sphere is administrated by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Association of Cinematographers.

The central executive body of cinematography in Ukraine is the Ukrainian State Film Agency. Together with the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, it is the largest investors in Ukrainian cinema and as of 2019 each of these institutions is investing about UAH 500 million in Ukrainian film production.

Film studios[edit]

Central entrance to Dovzhenko Film Studios.

State owned[edit]

Privately owned[edit]

  • Animagrad (Kyiv)
  • Film Service Illuminator
  • Film.UA[9] (Kyiv)
  • Fresh Production
  • Halychyna-Film Film Studio (Lviv)
  • Interfilm Production Studio
  • Kinofabryka
  • Linked Films
  • Odessa Animation Studio (Odesa)
  • Panama Grand Prix (Kyiv)
  • Patriot Film
  • Pronto Film (Kyiv)
  • Star Media
  • Yalta-Film Film Studio[10] (Yalta)

Film distribution[edit]

B&H Film Distribution Company is a major Ukrainian film distributor; it is the local distributor of films by Walt Disney Pictures, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia Pictures).[11]

Ukrainian Film Distribution (formerly Gemini Ukraine) is the local distributor of films by 20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight Pictures, Blue Sky Studios).[11]

VLG.FILM (formerly Volga Ukraine) is the local distributor of films by Miramax, StudioCanal, STX Entertainment, A24, Lionsgate, Focus Features International, EuropaCorp, Pathé Exchange, Kinology, Affinity Equity Partners, Exclusive Media Group, TF1 and others.

Kinomania is the local distributor of films by Warner Brothers (New Line Cinema).[11]

Short films, festival winners and art house are mostly distributed by Arthouse traffic.[12]

The newest website database system for the artists is the Ukrainian Film Industry Foundation


Odessa Film Festival Grand Prix


Current awards[edit]

In 1987, Ukrainian engineer and animator Eugene Mamut together with three colleagues won the «Oscar» (Scientific and Engineering Award) for the design and development of RGA / Oxberry Compu-Quad Special Effects Optical Printer for the movie «Predator»

In 2006, Ukrainian engineer and inventor Anatoliy Kokush was awarded two Oscars for the concept and development of the Ukrainian Arm gyro-stabilized camera crane and the Flight Head.

Former awards[edit]

Notable films[edit]

  • 1991 Голод-33 / Famine-33, directed by Oles Yanchuk
  • 1991 Чудо в краю забуття / Miracle in the Land of Oblivion, directed by Natalia Motuzko
  • 1992 Тарас Шевченко. Заповіт / Taras Shevchenko. Testament, directed by Stanislav Klymenko
  • 1993 Гетьманські клейноди / Hetman's Regalia, directed by Leonid Osyka
  • 1993 Сад Гетсиманський / Garden of Gethsemane, directed by Rostyslav Synko (by the novel of Ivan Bahriany)
  • 1994 Тигролови / Tiger Catchers, directed by Rostyslav Synko (by the novel of Ivan Bahriany)
  • 1995 Атентат - осіннє вбивство в Мюнхені / Assassination. An Autumn Murder in Munich, directed by Oles Yanchuk
  • 1995 Москаль-чарівник / Moskal-Charivnyk, directed by Mykola Zasieiev-Rudenko
  • 1997 Приятель небіжчика / A Friend of the Deceased, directed by Viacheslav Kryshtofovych
  • 1998 Тупик / Dead End, directed by Hryhoriy Kokhan
  • 1999 Як коваль щастя шукав / How the Blacksmith Looked for Happiness, directed by Radomyr Vasylevsky

Top awards[edit]

Award Category Film title Year Director
Palme d'Or Short Film The Cross (Cross-country) 2011 Maryna Vroda
Palme d'Or Short Film Podorozhni (Wayfarers) 2005 Ihor Strembitskyi
Jury Prize Silver Bear at Berlinale Short Film Ishov tramvai N°9 (The Tram N°9 Goes) 2003 Stepan Koval
Panorama Award of the NYFA at Berlinale Short Film Tyr (Shooting Gallery) 2001 Taras Tomenko
FIPRESCI Prize FIPRESCI Award Lebedyne Ozero - Zona (Swan Lake. The Zone) 1990 Yuriy Illienko
Award of the Youth at Cannes Film Festival Foreign Film Lebedyne Ozero - Zona (Swan Lake. The Zone) 1990 Yuriy Illienko

Top Ukrainian-language films by IMDb rating[edit]

Name Year Rating[35] Link
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors 1965 8.1 [2]
The Guide 2014 7.9 [3]
Gámer 2011 7.1 [4]
Brothers. The Final Confession 2013 7.9 [5]
Unforgotten Shadows 2013 6.7 [6]
Firecrosser 2011 7.3 [7]
Delirium 2013 7.5 [8]
Paradzhanov 2013 6.8 [9]
Las Meninas 2008 7.2 [10]


Ukrainian actors[edit]

Ukrainian diaspora actors[edit]


Ukrainian directors[edit]

Non-Ukrainian origin directors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Table 8: Cinema Infrastructure - Capacity". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Table 6: Share of Top 3 distributors (Excel)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Archived from the original on 17 January 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Table 1: Feature Film Production - Genre/Method of Shooting". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Table 11: Exhibition - Admissions & Gross Box Office (GBO)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  5. ^ Ivan Katchanovski; Zenon E. Kohut; Bohdan Y. Nebesio; Myroslav Yurkevich (2013). "Film" entry in Historical Dictionary of Ukraine. Scarecrow Press. p. 174. ISBN 9780810878471.
  6. ^ a b "Capturing the Marvelous: Ukrainian poetic cinema". Film Society of Lincoln Center. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  7. ^ Shevchuk, Yuri (2014). Linguistic Strategies of Imperial Appropriation: Why Ukraine is absent from world film history. Ch. 22 of Contemporary Ukraine on the Cultural Map of Europe, ed. Larissa M. L. Zaleska Onyshkevych & Maria G. Rewakowicz. Routledge. pp. 359–374. ISBN 9781317473787.
  8. ^ Website of Yalta Film Studio (in Russian)
  9. ^ Website of Film.UA Archived 2011-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Website of Yalta-Film Archived 2010-08-03 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  11. ^ a b c Film distribution: who brings movies to Ukraine Archived 2011-08-29 at the Wayback Machine (in Ukrainian)
  12. ^ About Arthouse Traffic
  13. ^ Official website
  14. ^ "KIFF official website". Archived from the original on 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  15. ^ KISFF official website
  16. ^ Official website
  17. ^ Krok official website
  18. ^ Pokrov film festival official website Archived 2011-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ [1] Archived 2008-07-15 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Харьковская Сирень
  21. ^ Wiz Art Archived 2011-09-05 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ VAU-Fest
  23. ^ Kinofront Archived 2011-12-14 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Docudays UA Archived 2011-11-25 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ BMKF official page
  26. ^ Irpin film festival official page
  27. ^ Golden Pektorale Archived 2011-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Crown of Carpathians
  29. ^ Encyclopedia of Homeland Cinema Archived 2011-01-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  30. ^ Stozhary film festival official page
  31. ^ Sebastopol film festival official website Archived 2012-04-09 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Regulations for Molodist festival Archived 2010-08-24 at the Wayback Machine (in Ukrainian)
  33. ^ Awards and Jury of OIFF (in English)
  34. ^ Dovgan, Ulyana (2017-05-05). "The First Annual Golden Dziga". Odessa Review. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  35. ^ IMDb - Data as for September 2015

External links[edit]