Olha Onyshko at the Fort Myers Films Festival, where her film “Women of Maidan” won the award for Best Documentary.

“Women of Maidan” sweeps through Florida’s Gulf Coast

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. – Olha Onyshko’s documentary film “Women of Maidan” captivated the hearts and minds of Gulf Coast Floridians recently, as they embraced the compelling story of how Ukrainian women of all ages and backgrounds championed freedom and justice in Ukraine’s 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity. Residents from a 150-mile swath of coastal cities, from Naples to St. Petersburg, came out to screenings of the film or meetings with the filmmaker as the film and its creator swept through the area between March 9 and 14. The Washington, D.C., filmmaker’s weeklong swing through Florida’s Gulf Coast was precipitated by the acceptance of her film at the seventh annual Fort Myers Film Festival, which took place in the balmy southwest Florida city on March 8-12.

A poster for the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale features a work from the series “Parliament” (2014-2016) by Boris Mikhailov.

Ukrainian Pavilion to be presented at international art exhibit in Venice

DALLAS – The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine has appointed Dallas Contemporary to organize the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, in 2017. Dallas Contemporary Executive Director Peter Doroshenko and Assistant Curator Lilia Kudelia will present a solo exhibition of work by Boris Mikhailov. The exhibition will be on view from May 13 to November 26 in Venice, Italy. In response to the title theme of “Viva Arte Viva!” as announced by Biennale Arte 2017 director Christine Macel, Ukrainian Pavilion curators will focus on the privileged moments of leisure in artistic practice which allow the possibility for aesthetic play and honest reflection. Mr. Mikhailov will exhibit a new series titled “Parliament” (2014-2016), which focuses on photography’s interaction with media interfaces, and the interplay between analogue and digital representation.

Andrij Parekh

Andrij Parekh behind the lens in “The Zookeeper’s Wife”

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Cinematographer Andrij Parekh’s latest work is showcased in the film “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” that has opened in theaters nationwide. The film, set during the second world war, showcases Mr. Parekh’s talents behind the camera lens. The film stars Jessica Chastain as Antonina Zabrinski and John Heldenbergh as Jan Zabrinski, two keepers of the Warsaw Zoo who aid in the protection of primarily Jewish people from the invading Nazis in addition to the animals of the zoo. Mr. Parekh is of Ukrainian-Indian descent, and his mother, Lesya Parekh, resides in Minnesota. He is a 2001 graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and the FAMU film school in Prague.

During the final bow (from left) are: Solomiya Ivakhiv, violinist; Yevhen Stankovych, composer; Philip Edward Fisher, pianist; Tanya Bannister, pianist; and Yves Dharamraj, cellist.

Ukrainian Institute of America celebrates composer Yevhen Stankovych

NEW YORK – Ukrainian composer Yevhen Stankovych is particularly fond of this startling Nostradamus prophesy: “A new, more pleasing language and culture will emerge in the land where the river Borysthenes (Dnipro) flows…” The venerable composer, teacher and ambassador of Ukrainian music has survived upheavals of the Soviet era, independence, and now the Russian invasions. He faces each day with faith in a better future. The Ukrainian Institute of America’s March 19 “Meet the Composer” concert dedicated to Mr. Stankovych was important because it not only presented a cross-section of his seminal compositions, but also, as expressed by Solomiya Ivakhiv, artistic director of Music at the Institute (MATI) concert series, because it honored a man renowned for his humane concern and support for musical organizations and many individual artists throughout his native Ukraine. A central figure of contemporary Ukrainian music, Maestro Stankovych was born in 1942 in the city of Svaliava in Zakarpattia Oblast. An outspoken proponent for the individuality of every composer, Mr. Stankovych always insisted that his students at the Kyiv Conservatory learn from all the masters – Baroque, Romantic, modern.

Slava Salyuk and Walter Hoydysh, Ph.D., director of Art at the Institute.

“Geography”: Neckwear exhibition links global ethnic motifs

NEW YORK – In her first ambitious showing with the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York, Lviv-based designer Slava Salyuk finds – in the aptly titled “Geography” – an avenue to combine her wanderlust spirit and her inventive fervidness to craft jewelry that goes beyond its aesthetics. And, embrace the beauty it does – on multiple levels. Each of the 32 necklaces displayed reveals a deep-rooted narrative, the cross-cultural currents that inspired it and the grace captured by it. The personal adornment of jewelry – besides enhancing beauty – symbolizes status, wealth and assets, excites the sense of prized possession, arouses aesthetic satisfaction, displays the craftsmanship that goes into its creation and continues age-old traditions. In much of the four corners of the world, jewelry has a significant function in the life of the community, and is carefully preserved, only to be brought out on the most important occasions, such as weddings and funeral ceremonies.

“Genocide Revealed” is filmed in Kharkiv Oblast, directed by Yurij Luhovy (center) with Adriana Luhova (cameraperson).

Documentary “Genocide Revealed” launches new website

MONTREAL – A new website (www.genociderevealedmovie.com) has been launched highlighting the availability of the English, Ukrainian and French versions of the multi-award-winning feature documentary film “Genocide Revealed.”

The first historical drama “Bitter Harvest,” written by Richard Bachynsky-Hoover and George Mendeluk, has brought international awareness to the little known 1932-1933 Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine. With this movie’s release, many people are asking where they can find more detailed information about this genocide. The documentary (75 minutes) “Genocide Revealed” by Canadian filmmaker Yurij Luhovy exposes Moscow’s policy of genocide against the Ukrainian nation. The film focuses on the man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine engineered by Stalin’s regime and the accompanied decimation of the national elite and destruction of Ukraine’s historical past. “Genocide Revealed” is based on testimonies of survivors, commentaries by historians, declassified Soviet archival documents and rare historical footage.

DakhaBrakha, the famed world music quartet from Ukraine.

DakhaBrakha to perform in New York

NEW YORK – On Saturday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m., Schimmel Center will welcome back the Ukrainian world-music quartet DakhaBrakha after a sold out performance in May of 2016. The evening will showcase music from the group’s latest album, which has been titled “The Road,” and is dedicated to the people who have died for Ukrainian freedom. The album was released in December 2016. DakhaBrakha was founded in 2004 by Vladyslav Troitskyi, an avant-garde theater director at the Kyiv Center of Contemporary Art (DAKH). The name means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language.

ACTION ITEM: UCCA calls on community to support screening of “Bitter Harvest”

“Bitter Harvest” is a love story, set against the backdrop of the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine. Produced by prominent Ukrainian Canadian Ian Ihnatowycz, the film brings the tragedy of the Famine-Genocide to audiences around the world. Set between the two world wars and based on historical events, “Bitter Harvest” conveys the untold story of the Holodomor, the genocidal famine engineered by Joseph Stalin, which ultimately killed millions of Ukrainians. The film presents a powerful tale of love, honor, rebellion and survival at a time when Ukraine was forced to adjust to the horrifying territorial ambitions of the burgeoning Soviet Union. With an exceptional cast of established and rising stars, the film epically recreates one of the most dramatic and dangerous episodes in the history of 20th century Europe.

Mariana Sadovska is the musical director and composer for the Wilma Theater’s new production “Adapt!” in Philadelphia.

Mariana Sadovska joins production of “Adapt!” in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Mariana Sadovska, Ukrainian composer, singer and actor, has returned to the U.S. as musical director and composer for “Adapt!” – a new play about a refugee’s journey being presented at the award-winning Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. “Adapt!” tells the story of 22-year-old Lenka who flees authoritarian Czechoslovakia in the 1970s. Written by Wilma Theater director Blanka Zizka based on her own life, “Adapt!” will resonate with many in the Ukrainian diaspora who are refugees themselves or the children and grandchildren of refugees. Ms. Sadovska, originally from Lviv and now living in Cologne, Germany, was invited by Ms. Zizka to collaborate on the play after she saw Ms. Sadovska last year in Philadelphia, at a performance that was almost cancelled by a snowstorm. “I just loved the concert so much, “Ms. Zizka said.

Filmmaker Olha Onyshko, director of “Women of Maidan.”

“Women of Maidan”: when women’s unity overcame a regime backed by Kremlin

WASHINGTON – Women’s Month in Washington is being celebrated with discussions on the role of women in the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, and the “Women of Maidan” documentary will be screened at the U.S. Capitol. The film is about Ukrainian women’s role in an iconic quest for freedom and justice during the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity. Women’s resilience and spontaneous organization to sustain the 24/7 protests led to a historic victory of ordinary people over a ruthless authoritarian and corrupt regime supported by the Kremlin. Directed by Olha Onyshko, this tale of a country on the edge shows the real intensity of the Maidan and what women and men can do when unified. On March 28, at 6:30-9 p.m., Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) is sponsoring a special event on the role of women in the Revolution of Dignity and its impact on the current situation in Ukraine and the world.