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Ukraine Films holds fundraising screenings in Japan


Two Ukrainian feature films will be screened this month in Tokyo, Japan, as part of an initiative to raise funds and awareness of Russia’s war in Europe.

Both films “Atlantis” and “Reflection” were directed by director Valentyn Vasyarovych. They played at the Venice Film Festival but were not licensed in Japan or released there.

However, under the banner of the Ukrainian Filmmaker Support Screening Association, former Tokyo International Film Festival programmer Yatabe Yoshi obtained special permission for the charity screenings to take place. They will take place from March 29 to 31, 2022 on the Euro Space and Euro Live sites.

Tickets will be sold through crowdfunding platform Motion Gallery, with proceeds beyond the cost of prints and captioning going to Ukrainian production companies and film support organizations.

“’Atlantis’ is a realistic parable that depicts Ukraine’s conflict with Russia as a dystopian world story. The film is an important work that reminds us that Ukraine has always been in a state of war since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. “Reflection” (2021) is also a wonderful work with a very sophisticated aesthetic image that depicts the seriousness of the Ukrainian conflict. with Russia. These two films are the most essential to screen now,” Yatabe said.

While at TIFF, Yatabe struck up a close friendship with Vasyanovych and scheduled “Atlantis” in the festival’s main competition in 2019. He describes Vassianovich as “representing modern Ukraine”.

Vasyanovych is a director, producer and cinematographer born in 1971 in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. He studied at the Karpenko-Kary National University of Theatre, Film and Television as a cinematographer in 1995 and a documentary filmmaker in 2000 and completed his studies at the Wajda School in Poland.

Ukrainian director Valentin Vasyarovych.
Courtesy of Free Stone Productions.

In 2012, he directed his first feature film “Business As Usual”, which earned him a special mention at the Odessa International Film Festival. In 2014, he produced and filmed “The Tribe” by director Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi. His 2019 film “Atlantis” won Best Film in the Orizzonti section of Venice. Her 2021 pic “Reflection” played in main competition in Venice.

Other backers of the screenings include New Europe Film Sales, Best Friend Forever, Euro Space, Euro Live, Mermaid Film, sales and marketing company Free Stone Productions and the Tokyo International Film Festival.