Documentary Screening: Eurodonbas
Join us for a screening of “Eurodonbas” followed by a Q&A with Director Kornii Hrytsiuk and Producer Anna Palenchuk.
A region in eastern Ukraine, Donbas is known today for being occupied and partly annexed by Russia. However, at the end of the 19th century, Donbas was the center of Belgian, German, French, British, and American settlements, and housed entrepreneurs from different countries who built architecture, and enterprises, and introduced progressive technologies in this territory. After the revolution of 1917, and the Soviet’s rise to power, the factories were taken from the European and North American settlers and nationalized, effectively destroying the memory of European history there. Since February 24th, 2022, Russian troops have been continuing in their efforts to sabotage these buildings of European heritage, finalizing what their ancestors did not have time to do during the Soviet Union.
The documentary film ‘Eurodonbas’ shows the foreign heritage of Mariupol, Lysychansk, Druzhkivka, and New York. The film team discovered and animated the unique, but lesser-known archival materials of Donbas during the 19th century. Experts, historians, and locals tell their tales and pieces of evidence about the region’s history, which was carefully destroyed and distorted by Soviet authorities who worked to erase the legacies of European entrepreneurs like John Hughes, Ernest Solvay, and Henrich Laude.
Unfortunately, these cities of Donbas and their European heritage as they were in the film will remain unseen. Soon after filming, almost all of them were destroyed by Russian missiles.
View the trailer for EuroDonbas here.
Kornii Hyrtsiuk is a Ukrainian film director and screenwriter. He has been working in the film industry since 2011. He made several short and full-length films that participated in international film festivals and were awarded prizes. From 2016 to 2018 Korniy worked on his independent debut film ‘2020#desertedcountry’. This was the first Ukrainian mockumentary about how almost all Ukrainians left their country. The film was presented at the Molodist KIFF in May 2018 and then shown in Germany, USA/Czech Republic/Sweden, etc. Hereafter, Kornii worked on his next documentary ‘Train: Kyiv-War’. This film was about passengers on a night train that connects Kyiv and a war zone in Eastern Ukraine. The premiere took place in August 2020 at 49 Molodist KIFF.
Anna Palenchuk is one of Ukraine’s leading film producers. She produced the well-known film Eastalgia (Ukraine/Serbia/Germany), the documentary Mariupolis by Mantas Kvedaravicius, and Close Relations by Vitaliy Manskiy, which was shown at numerous international film festivals, such as PÖFF, TIFF, IDFA, KVIFF, and OIFF. Anna also provided film services for 6 Indian films, including the RRR action drama by the outstanding Indian filmmaker S.S. Rajamoli. She produced a theatrical performance and a feature film based on Oleg Sentsov`s same-titled play Numbers which premiered at the 70th Berlin Film Festival. Anna studied at the Vancouver film school (scriptwriting department). In 2022 she released the investigative documentary Eurodonbas by Kornii Hrytsiuk as producer and co-writer. The film aims to debunk Soviet myths and tell that more than 100 years ago, Donbas was an integral part of the European economy. Currently, Anna lives in Toronto, Canada, where she is developing the documentary project Crimea, 5 AM by Dmytro Kostiumynskyi, which reveals the stories of the wives of the detained Crimean Tatars, who have been living under Russian occupation, and the documentary film Nuclear Dead End by Kornii Hrytsiuk, which investigates the prerequisites of the nuclear world danger and seeks ways of preventing it.