The wind of change is blowing again in Ukraine. The world’s order is losing its balance, not only locally but also globally. Today, Ukraine is the site of the battle between two systems of values, the East and the West. How this battle will go and how it will end depends to a large extend on what Ukrainians themselves will do. The world focuses its attention on them. Naturally, the key enablers of changes are the young. It is them who will decide about the future of their country. With this in mind, it is interesting to look inside their heads: what they think, what they feel, how they perceive the world around them and their country, their peers. Are they able to carry the weight of change?
As experienced filmmakers (we have been doing this for several years now), we have co-operated with young Ukrainian filmmakers already since 2011. First during the “Kiev from Dawn till Dusk” project, then “Young People About Themselves” project. We try to get to know them and understand them, and as older and more experienced colleagues we try to share our knowledge and skills which we have gained during the transformations in Poland.
While organizing “The World From Dawn Till Dusk” project in different cities in Europe and Asia for the past five years, we have met a great many of young people: Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Russians, Turks, Georgians, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Belarusians. Some of the most interesting ones were the Ukrainians. We had a great opportunity to enter their reality and learn about their problems. We were impressed with their sensitivity, passion and talent.
The idea for the “Young People About Themselves” project is actually the result of those meetings. We have offered our Ukrainian students to carry out their own, very personal films depicting their peers as the main protagonists - young people standing at the start of their life journey. We wished for deep, personal psychological portraits of the protagonists to be made. We wanted the authors to reach the deep truth about young man by touching all aspects of their lives. In order for such films to be made, it is necessary to find ideas, carry out film documentation, write scripts and make trailers. This whole process was undertaken under the strict artistic supervision. It resulted in 15 interesting scripts describing the problems of the young generation during the turbulent times of the Ukrainian crisis.
The project’s final stage was a presentation of those scripts in Warsaw. This way, we wanted to help our students not only to endow the right artistic form to their work but also to find funds for making and distributing their films in Polish and European television channels and film institutions. By doing so, the young filmmakers have a chance to pursue their aspirations of integrating with Europe.
The results exceeded our expectations. Five films are currently in various stages of development. Some of them are already winning prizes at the most important film festivals It is also a financial success: the project which cost 250 000PLN resulted in making films with a budget of over 2 000 000PLN.
Encouraged by this success, we wish to continue our work on an even wider scale with the “Young People About Ukraine” project.