“Ukraine in focus” program at the European Film Festival in Palić  

The Ukrainian Institute will present the program of Ukrainian cinema “Ukraine in Focus” at the 29th European Film Festival in Palić, which will be held in Serbia from July 16 to 22. The selection includes six full-length films by Ukrainian directors, created in 2020 and 2021. 

As part of the program, the festival audience will be able to watch the following Ukrainian films: Reflection by Valentyn Vasyanovych, “Bad Roads” by Natalya Vorozhbit, “Rhino” by Oleg Sentsov, “Stop Zemlia” by Kateryna Gornostai, “Roses” by Irena Stetsenko and This Rain Will Never Stop by Alina Gorlova. Screenings will take place from July 17 to 22. 


The festival implements the Ukrainian focus program in cooperation with the Ukrainian Institute, a state institution under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, aiming to improve the understanding and perception of Ukraine in the world through cultural diplomacy.  

In the last decade, Ukrainian filmmakers have developed an authentic and bold cinematic expression, stylistically relying on surrealism. This creative inspiration of new young and promising authors has returned Ukrainian cinema to the spotlight of world festivals and, before the beginning of the aggression we are witnessing, Ukrainian film experienced a new great upswing. In our selection of contemporary Ukrainian cinema, female authors stand out, since women’s perspective brings something new and authentic, whether it deals with military conflicts or follow an intimate drama about growing up and falling in love,” comments Miroslav Mogorović, program director of the Festival of European Cinema in Palić.  

In the film Reflection, Ukrainian surgeon Serhiy is captured by the Russian army during the Russian-Ukrainian war in Eastern Ukraine, where he witnesses terrible scenes of humiliation and violence. After release, he returns to everyday life and tries to find its meaning, restoring relations with his daughter and ex-wife. 

The tape “Bad Roads” is an adaptation of the author’s play of the same name from 2017. The tape consists of five short stories united by the theme of roads. Five stories about love, hate, trust, betrayal, and violation of personal boundaries against the background of violation of state borders.

The action of the film “Rhino” unfolds in a Ukrainian industrial town in the 1990s. A young man nicknamed “Rhino”, an aggressive delinquent since childhood, now becomes a violent criminal.  

The full-length debut “Stop Zemlia” won the Generation – Crystal Bear Award Berlinale 2021. It is a radical, authentic and sensitive dive into the troubled youth and the inner perspective of Ukrainian youth.  

“Roses” is a tragicomic musical with the participation of the Ukrainian band Dakh Daughters. This cinematographic cabaret shows the beauty and difficulties of the life path of women, artists, and citizens of the country going through revolution and war.  

The documentary “The Rain Will Never Stop”, a prize-winner of the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, tells the story of 20-year-old Andriy Suleyman, who, fleeing from the war in Syria, finds himself in another one – the Russian aggression has begun in the East.

Culture proves to be a very effective tool for building bridges between countries and we believe that our joint program will help Serbian audiences discover and understand Ukraine better. For this very purpose, we have chosen films that differ in genre, style, and topics: from rough criminal drama Rhino or sensitive coming-out-of-age story Stop-Zemlia to powerful black and white documentary The Rain Will Never Stop or expressive documentary cinéma vérité Roses,” says Nataliia Movshovych, Head of Film sector at Ukrainian Institute.

The festival implements the Ukrainian focus program in cooperation with the Ukrainian Institute. This year’s festival, organized by the Open University of Subotica, takes place in several locations, including the unique Summer Stage in Palić, as well as the Eurocinema, Abazija and Lifka cinemas. The audience will be presented with more than 130 films from all over Europe in 15 sections and program blocks. In addition to the rich film program, accompanying dynamic events await the audience – concerts, exhibitions, promotions, workshops and master classes.