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Celebrating 'Freedom on Screen': The 2021 Cambridge Festival of Ukrainian Film

From 22 November to 6 December, Cambridge Ukrainian Studies and the Ukrainian Institute London welcome audiences to the 2021 Ukrainian Film Festival, Freedom on Screen. Showcasing a dynamic and diverse selection of documentary and feature films, the event marks 30 years of Ukraine’s independent statehood by celebrating a spirit of creative freedom in contemporary Ukrainian cinema. 

The festival programme features a combination of online and in-person screenings: our digital cinema offers you a curated collection of contemporary Ukrainian films to watch at your leisure anywhere in the UK, while our select in-person screenings and Q&As will take place in cinemas and galleries in London and Cambridge.


Festival Programme

Ivan’s Land

Director: Andrii Lysets’kyi

Genre: Documentary Year: 2021  Duration: 86 min

Language: Ukrainian with English subtitles

This film is a captivating and resplendent documentary portrait of an extraordinary folk artist whose joyous engagement and representation of the world elicit the attention of the cultural elite.

Between 22 November and 6 December, Ivan’s Land will be available to watch for free online via our film festival web platform .

Cambridge Ukrainian Studies will also host an in-person screening in Cambridge on 22 November 2021 at 17:30, marking the film’s UK premiere. Dr Rory Finnin (Associate Professor of Ukrainian Studies) will introduce the film and discuss the work of artist Ivan Prykhodko at historic Kettle’s Yard, the University of Cambridge’s modern and contemporary art gallery.

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This Rain Will Never Stop

Director: Alina Gorlova 

Genre: Documentary Year: 2020  Duration: 102 min

Language: Kurdish / Arabic / Ukrainian / Russian / German with English subtitles

Fleeing the Syrian civil war, Andriy and his Kurdish family start a new life in a small town in eastern Ukraine, only to be caught up in another military conflict. This visually arresting documentary takes a powerful look at humanity’s endless cycle of war and peace.

Between 22 November and 6 December, This Rain Will Never Stop will be available to watch for free online via our film festival web platform .

There will also be an in-person screening at Bertha Dochouse in London on 22 November 2021 at 18:20 . The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Alina Horlova (via Zoom) and Dr Kamran Matin (Senior Lecturer, Sussex University) , hosted by Dr Olesya Khromeychuk (Director of the Ukrainian Institute London).

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My Thoughts Are Silent

Director: Antonio Lukich

Genre: Comedy Year: 2019 Duration: 104 min

Language: Ukrainian with English subtitles

Having experienced many setbacks in his professional and personal life, 25-year-Vadym gets a chance to start it all over. Just one task – to record the song of a rare bird that resides in the Carpathian mountains…

Between 22 November and 6 December, My Thoughts Are Silent will be available to watch for free online via our film festival web platform .

We will host an in-person screening at Cine Lumiere in London on 6 December 2021 at 20:35 . To celebrate the end of the Ukrainian Film Festival, the screening will be preceded by a drinks reception beginning at 19:30, which is free for all ticketholders. The reception is sponsored by the Embassy of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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Bad Roads

Director: Nataliya Vorozhbyt

Genre: Drama Year: 2020  Duration: 105 min

Language: Russian & Ukrainian with English subtitles

Four short stories are set along the roads of Donbas during the war. In this world, where tomorrow may never come, not everyone is defenseless and miserable – and even the most innocent victims may have their turn at taking charge.

Between 22 November and 6 December, Bad Roads will be available to watch for free online via our film festival web platform.

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