Ukrainian film director receives Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival

MUMBAI: The Ukrainian film director Maryna Vroda received a Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) for the best short film at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. The 15 minute motion picture Kross (cross-country race – Ed.) is a joint project by Ukraine and France.

The short film Kross is based on the author’s memories of the physical education lessons. The production of the movie that was shot within one week last September cost about EUR 3,500 and involved only non-professional actors. The Ukrainian film was chosen by the jury out of 1500 applications.

Maryna Vroda is a 29 year-old graduate of the Kaprenko-Karyi National University – major art education university in Ukraine. Last year, Maryna was an assistant director to Serhiy Loznitsya – Ukrainian film director, whose film Shastya Moye (My Joy) was featured in the main competition program of the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.

This is the second time when Ukrainian motion picture received the highest award at the Cannes Film Festival. Previously the Palme d’Or award was presented in 2005 during the 58th Cannes Film Festival to the Ukrainian director Igor Strembitsky for his short film Podorozhni (Wayfarers).

Cinematography in Ukraine dates back to 1896 when A. Fedetsky, the artist and photographer from Kharkiv (Eastern Ukraine -Ed.) produced and showed the first newsreels. Their regular production started in 1907. The first animated cartoon studio was set up in 1927. During the World War II the Ukrainian film makers went to the front to show the heroism of soldiers who defended their motherland.

The Ukrainian script and play-writer Oleksandr Dovzhenko is one of the founders of Ukrainian cinematography. The director of many motion pictures including the top two in the country "Arsenal" and "Earth", Dovzhenko became an important figure in the national and world cinematography.

After Ukraine became independent 20 years ago the government was unable to provide adequate support to the weakening industry. The situation, nonetheless, has changed within the last five years since Ukrainian business media started making alliances with the world renowned film makers, who now give preference to Ukraine for a multitude of reasons, including its excellent shooting location with rich topographic variety, large number of professional production and post-production support companies, affordable infrastructure and open-hearted people.

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