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filmPOLSKA: Ukraine-Spezial

filmPOLSKA: Ukraine-Spezial

filmPOLSKA Panel Discussion “Borderline”
Curators: Dr Anna Huth, Kornel Miglus, Natalia Zuch
Moderator: Dr Barbara Wurm
Speakers: Michał Bielawski, Andrei Kutsila, Natalia Libet, Zhanna Ozirna

The panel discussion is held in English.
The entrance is free.

For the German description please check our website: https://instytutpolski.pl/berlin/17-filmpolska/filmpolska-ukraine-spezial/

filmPOLSKA invites its audience to join the panel discussion “Borderline” to examine the most urgent socio-political issues of today’s Eastern Europe through the lens of filmmakers and journalists. Michał Bielawski, Natalia Libet, Andrei Kutsila and Zhanna Ozirna will provide insights into their work experience in reporting on regions of Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, reflecting on the war in Ukraine, protests in Belarus and the current refugee crisis.

Is a documentary filmmaker a “professional witness” or an artist? Where is the line between fixing reality and interpretation? East European countries are going through a series of upheavals and trials. The old systems of relations have been destroyed, and now tens of millions of people are facing a new challenge – building a new reality. Together with our special guests we will dive into the big questions of the role of documentary filmmaking, the changing landscape of the factual formats, as well as the history lessons already taught and homework that still need to be learnt.


Andrei Kutsila
Film director, in 2007, Kutsila earned his degree in International Journalism from the Belarusian State University, and two years later, he graduated from the Belarusian Academy of Fine Arts in Minsk. Since then, he has collaborated with various producers and TV stations as a freelance filmmaker. In 2018, he won the IDFA award in the Best Medium-Length Documentary Film category for “Summa.” Kutsila’s documentary “When Flowers are Not Silent”, which focuses on the mass protests in Belarus in 2020, won the Best Documentary Feature award at the 37th Warsaw Film Festival. He is currently based in Poland, having a one-year internship at Lodz Film School.

Zhanna Ozirna
Film director and a screenwriter from Kyiv. Berlinale talents 2020 alumna. A member of the Ukrainian Film Academy and Ukrainian Guild of Directors. Her last short fiction “The Adult” was presented in the special program “The State of a New Generation” within Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur. Her animation short project “Anna & Gravity” won Jury Special Mention for the best script pitching within interfilm Berlin Script Lab 2021. She is currently working on the development of her feature debut “Ground Zero” which was supported by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, Pustnik and ScripTeast workshops, Cinemart (IFFR) 2021, and La Fabrique Cinema 2022.

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 mostly with ESSE Production House and Digital Religion. In 2019-2021, she brought First Cut Lab to Ukraine; her first local initiative was with EAVE in Demand in 2017. She has also joined Bratislava’s Febiofest, London’s The Calvert Journal Film Festival and Wiesbaden’s goEast as a jury member. She has had annual audits with Big 4, obtained an MBA in the U.S. Natalia is responsible for the educational programs at the Film Industry Association of Ukraine (FIAU). She is a winner of 2000 Edmund Muskie/Freedom Support Act Graduate Fellowship Award, a member of Ukrainian Film Academy, an alumna of Midpoint Institute’s Cold Open, LIM and EURODOC. In 2022, Natalia is an Emerging Producer with Ji.Hlana IDFF and a Producer Under the Spotlight at Marche du Film. Natalia’s selected filmography includes “Stop-Zemlia” (2021, 122’) fiction dir. Kateryna Gornostai, w. premiere – Berlinale Generation 14plus, Crystal Bear Youth Jury Award Berlinale Generation 14+ (as a producer); “Parthenon” (2019, 120’) fiction dir. Mantas Kvedaravicius Lithuania-Ukraine-France, w. premiere – the 34th Critics’ Week at the 76th Venice IFF (as a co-producer); “ANNA”, (15’, 2019) fiction dir. Dekel Berenson Ukraine-UK-Israel, w. premiere – Shorts Competition at the 72th Cannes IFF, BIFA Best Short Award 2019 (as an executive producer).

Michał Bielawski
graduated from the Humanities Department at the University of Warsaw. For ten years, he worked as a journalist for radio and television. In 2013, he got the Polish Film Institute Award for the TV program “One scene”. In the same year, he debuted with the feature documentary „Mundial. The Highest Stakes”, in which he mixed the perspective of political prisoners of the communist regime with the story of the polish national team tournament during 1982 World Cup in Spain. In next years he directed documentaries: “1989”, about the end of communism in Poland, “The Team” and several documentary series in collaboration with Canal+Discovery and Discovery channels. His last film, “The Wind. A Documentary Thriller”, co-produced by HBO, is a journey into the community of Polish highlanders who are affected by an extremely destructive wind.

Dr. Barbara Wurm
studied Russian and Comparative Literature in Vienna, Innsbruck, Moscow, Warsaw, Munich, Leipzig and Berlin, where she joined the Department of East Slavic Literature and Culture at the Humboldt University. She did her PhD in Soviet “Kulturfilm” of the 1920s. Her special interest is Eastern European cinema. Freelance film critic and curator for thirty years for various media and festivals (Dok Leipzig). Currently she is a member of the Selection Committees of goEast and Berlinale.

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